Bhopal/New Delhi: BJP’s Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate and 2008 Malegaon bomb blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur on Friday sparked off a controversy by saying that Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who lost his life in the 26/11 attack, had died to “her curse”.
The statement by Thakur, who had joined the BJP on Wednesday and was hours later named its candidate against former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal, drew flak from opposition parties like the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, who demanded that that the party apologise for her comment.
At a public meeting in Bhopal, Thakur, recounting the episode of her arrest and interrogation in the Malegaon case, said that she was in a Mumbai jail and the head of the probe had called Karkare and said that she should be released as there was no evidence against her.
“Then Karkare asked me various questions and I replied ‘God knows’. At this, Karkare said he would he have to go to God to get the answers. Then, I told him that he would be destroyed and he was cursed ... within a month and a half he fell victim to the terrorists’ bullets.
“Hindus believe that that a period of one and a half month after anyone’s birth or death is of ritual impurity. When Karkare asked me these questions, this period started for him and ended with him being killed by terrorists,” she said.
Condemning the comments, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party came out demanding the BJP to apologise for the comment.
Congress leader Sanjay Jha accused Thakur of mocking Karkare’s death.
“I live in Mumbai. We saw 26/11 at close quarters. ATS Chief Hemant Karkare stood up to save us from Pakistani terrorists. He was killed by them. BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur mocks his death,” Jha said in a tweet.
The AAP said the nation is proud of Karkare who laid down his life fighting against the Pakistani terrorists during the 26/11 attack. “BJP must apologise for insulting Hemant Karkare.”
AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal called the comments “disgraceful” and said her comment needed to be condemned in the strongest terms.
“BJP is showing its true colours and it must be shown it’s place now,” he tweeted.
MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi also questioned the BJP for Thakur’s comment.
“Hemant Karkare died fighting people not very different from yourself. He didn’t die because a terror accused ‘felt bad’ and ‘cursed’ him. The man died fighting to protect our rights to vote and elect a government. How dare BJP insult our martyrs like this?” he asked.