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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur has said that former Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare died because she had cursed him.
“The investigation team called Hemant Karkare to Mumbai and said if you do not have evidence, let her go. He said I will do anything to get evidence against her. I won’t let her go. This was his stubborness. He was traitor. He was anti-religion…You won’t believe but I said you will be destroyed…After just over a month, the terrorists killed him,” an accused in the Malegaon blasts case and BJP’s candidate from Bhopal for the Lok Sabha elections.
#WATCH Pragya Singh Thakur:Maine kaha tera (Mumbai ATS chief late Hemant Karkare) sarvanash hoga.Theek sava mahine mein sutak lagta hai. Jis din main gayi thi us din iske sutak lag gaya tha.Aur theek sava mahine mein jis din atankwadiyon ne isko maara, us din uska anth hua (18.4) pic.twitter.com/COqhEW2Bnc— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2019
Karkare was killed along with two other senior police officers while fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 in which 166 people were killed.
Karkare had investigated charges against Sadhvi Pragya in the blasts in Malegaon in 2008.
Reacting to Sadhvi Pragya's remark, the IPS association said, "Ashok Chakra awardee late Sri Hemant Karkare, IPS made the supreme sacrifice fighting terrorists. Those of us in uniform condemn the insulting statement made by a candidate and demand that sacrifices of all our martyrs be respected."
Ashok Chakra awardee late Sri Hemant Karkare, IPS made the supreme sacrifice fighting terrorists. Those of us in uniform condemn the insulting statement made by a candidate and demand that sacrifices of all our martyrs be respected.— IPS Association (@IPS_Association) April 19, 2019
Congress leader Digvijay Singh said, "Hemant Karkare was a dedicated officer. He laid down his life for the country and we should be proud of him. No one should comment on it."
Sadhvi Pragya is among the seven accused facing trial in Malegaon blast case. Six people were killed and several 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.
She 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. Several opposition leaders have slammed the BJP for fielding a terror accused in the Lok Sabha elections.
(With inputs from agencies)