Terror-accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, claimed on Thursday that former Mumbai Anti-Terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare was killed because she had cursed him.
In a video of her address to BJP workers on Thursday, she is heard saying, “I had told him you will be destroyed, and he was gone in less than two months.”
After she makes the claim, BJP workers around her are seen clapping.
Karkare was killed during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack along with senior police officials Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar outside the Cama Hospital when Ajmal Kasab and his partner Abu Ismail opened fire at their police van, Indian Express reports.
He was the first officer to investigate the Malegaon blasts which took place on 29 September 2008, in which Thakur is an accused, according to NDTV.
Six people were killed and 101 injured in the blast.
The BJP scrambled to undo the damage caused by its candidate’s vitriol against a man considered a national hero, saying they wouldn’t “do politics” over Karkare’s sacrifice.
Out on bail on health grounds, Thakur had been discharged by a court on charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the 2008 case, but is still facing trial under other criminal provisions, including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The announcement of her candidature has caused controversy and dismay, being the first known instance of a major political party giving a ticket to someone accused of terrorism. Many commentators have rightly pointed out that the BJP would have raised hell if any other political party had done so.
While Thakur and other BJP leaders have claimed she was given a “clean chit” in the case, she is still under trial in the case and is accused of murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and of promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion.
On Thursday, the father of a Malegaon blast victim moved an application in court asking for Thakur to be restricted from fighting the current election and to be directed to attend court proceedings regularly.