Written byShalini Ojha ·
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
BJP releases statement over the remarks made against late Hemant Karkare by BJP LS candidate for Bhopal, Pragya Thakur; says, "BJP considers him a martyr. This is Sadhvi Pragya's personal statement which she might have given because of the mental physical torture she had faced" pic.twitter.com/CNr5n5EbDl— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2019
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.
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