Pragya Singh Thakur, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and key accused in Malegaon blast has stoked controversy with her remarks against former Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who sacrificed his life during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. The BJP leader, who is facing charges of terrorism in Malegaon blast under the UAPA, said that Karkare died just 40 days after she cursed him.
“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. And within 40 days, he was killed by terrorists,” she said.
Karkare had lost his life along with two other senior police officers while fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in November 2008.
Thakur, also known as “Sadhvi”, is facing trial in Malegaon terrorist attack in which six people were killed and over 12 others sustained serious injuries in an explosion in Maharashtra’s Malegaon on September 29, 2008. In 2015, one year after the Narendra Modi government came to power, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) gave Thakur clean chit for lack of evidence, the trial court refused to acquit her, saying that it was difficult to accept since her motorcycle was used in the blast.
In 2017, she was granted bail by the Bombay High Court. She was also cleared of charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). She, however, remains a terror accused under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
In the wake of Lok Sabha elections, the Malegaon blast accused joined BJP on Wednesday. The saffron party also named her as candidate from Bhopal against Congress’ Digvijay Singh.
Pragya Thakur is among the seven accused facing trial in Malegaon blast case. Six people were killed and a dozen others were injured after a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded in Maharashtra’s Malegaon on September 29, 2008. She was arrested in 2008 but was given a clean chit by the National Investigation Agency in 2015 for lack of evidence. However, the trial court refused to let her off, saying it was difficult to accept since her motorcycle was used in the blast.
Thakur has been cleared of charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act and was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in 2017 but remains an accused under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. On Wednesday, she formally joined the BJP and will contest against Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal parliamentary constituency. The BJP has been at the receiving end for its decision to field a terror accused in the Lok Sabha elections.