‘It hurts’: Surgical strikes hero Lt Gen Hooda slams Pragya Thakur's comments on Hemant Karkare


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New Delhi:

Lt General (Retd) DS Hooda, who oversaw the surgical strikes in September 2016, on Sunday condemned the statements of BJP leader Pragya Singh Thakur on late former Mumbai ATS chief late Hemant Karkare. "Yes, it does hurt when such things are said about a martyr, be it from the Army or the Police, full respect should be given. These utterances are not good," Hooda told reporters in a press conference.

Addressing BJP workers in Bhopal last week, Thakur had claimed that Karkare died during the attack as she had "cursed" him for "torturing" her when he probed the Malegaon blast case as the chief of the ATS.

"I called Hemant Karkare and asked him to let me go if there is no evidence (against me). He (Karkare) said that he will bring evidence but will not leave me. I told him -- You will be ruined," Thakur had said.

Hooda presented a report titled 'India, National Security Strategy'.

The five major points in the report are - assuming our rightful place in global affairs, achieving a secure neighbourhood, peaceful resolution of internal conflicts, protecting our people and strengthening our capabilities.

Speaking on the report, Hooda said: "We have submitted a report to Congress president on national security. We have decided that it should be holy touch. India is doing well diplomatically but there should be a permanent seat in UNSC. The second issue is with the relations with our neighbouring countries and how our relations should be with Pakistan. The attention has been paid to the insurgency in North-East India and Maoism."

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"Fourthly, we have looked at public security. The security of common people is also an important part of national security like climate change, demographic change, cyber challenge, energy and economic security. In the fifth point, we have paid attention to how we can increase our military capacity," he added.

Speaking on the politicisation and questions over the air strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camps in Balakot, Hooda said, "When senior military officers come and say that this operation has been done, that should be the end of it. Unfortunately, the whole debate keeps dragging on and it comes out in various forums that is why the military tends to get drawn into political arguments and debates, that is not correct.

Meanwhile, eight former top police officers have strongly condemned the "despicable" remark of Thakur.

In a statement, the former DGPs said the country owes Karkare, who headed the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad and was killed during the 26/11 terror attack, a huge debt of gratitude and anything that detracts from this is worthy of strong condemnation.

(With agency inputs)

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