(MENAFN - NewsBytes)
Ex-DGP condemns Sadhvi Pragya's remarks on 26/11 hero Hemant Karkare
20 Apr 2019
BJP's Bhopal candidate Sadhvi Pragya Thakur's comments on martyred Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare sparked a row on Friday.
Former Maharashtra DGP Anami Roy said he was "appalled by the unethical and immoral statement". On Friday evening, IPS Association also condemned the remark.
Facing brickbats from all corners, Pragya retracted her words and said the remarks 'benefited' her enemies.
Here's what happened.
Backstory: Pragya claimed she 'cursed' Karkare and he died
Pragya, who is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, claimed she was tortured in custody. Notably, it was Karkare who led the investigation team which arrested her.
She bragged that she "cursed" Karkare that his entire clan would be wiped off, which is why he died.
Notably, Karkare passed away on November 26, 2008, fighting terrorists who had attacked Mumbai.
Defending Karkare as he can't defend himself: Roy
Giving his opinion, ex-DGP Roy, who was Karkare's senior, said, "Pragya's comments have really hurt me and hence I am talking to you to defend someone who is not alive to defend himself."
Roy said since ATS reported to him he knew all the details of the chargesheet.
The chargesheet was filed in a professional manner without any pressure from anyone, he added.
Karkare was an absolute professional, said Roy
"He (Karkare) was an absolute professional who did not have any political leanings. The man is no longer there to defend himself and as a service colleague, it is hurtful to hear such statements," Roy told Indian Express.
"What right does Pragya have to smear his name?"
Separately, former IPS officer Meeran Borwankar said Karkare was a gentleman and a professionally sound officer.
"Just because he is no more to defend himself, what right does Pragya Thakur have to smear his name," she said and added Pragya's statement defied Indian culture.
Similarly, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro said it was annoying to hear such statements about a fine officer.
Inspector who worked under Karkare said his job wasn't easy
Dinesh Agarwal, who was an inspector when Karkare headed ATS, said, "Do you think it is easy to charge someone as influential as Sadhvi or an Army Lt Colonel (Prasad Purohit) unless you have foolproof evidence against them? No officer would take such a chance."
Notably, CM Modi had announced compensation for the Karkare's family
Pragya's words reminded many of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement after the 26/11 attacks.
PM Modi, who was Gujarat's CM at the time, had visited Karkare's family.
"I have made an announcement today that those jawans of the security forces who were martyred while fighting terror, the Gujarat government will give their families Rs. 1 crore," he had said.
After outrage, Pragya ate her words
As the controversy raged, Pragya went into a damage control mode.
"If my remarks made enemies happy, then I take my words back, and I apologize too. Our remarks shouldn't make enemies happy. The pain I went through, it can't be reversed, but terrorists killed Hemant Karkare, he certainly is a martyr," she said.
Meanwhile, BJP said Pragya's comments didn't reflect the party's stand.
Separately, EC sought report on Pragya's remarks
On Friday night, Election Commission asked Bhopal's Returning Officer to give a report on Pragya's remarks against the martyr.
Notably, Congress also launched a scathing attack on BJP. Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said her comments were an insult to soldiers who sacrificed their lives fighting enemies.
In his tweet, Surjewala demanded an apology from PM Modi and asked him to take action against Pragya.