Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the 2008 Malegaon blast accused who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Bhopal as a BJP candidate, said on Friday former Mumbai Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare died because she had cursed him. Karkare died in action while fighting terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008. Karkare was also probing the Malegoan case, and Thakur said he had treated her “very badly” and died because of his “karma”.
“(the) probe panel official called Hemant Karkare and asked him to let me go if there is no evidence (against me). He (Karkare) said he would bring evidence from anywhere but not leave me,” Sadhvi Thakur can be heard saying in Hindi in a video posted by news agency ANI on Twitter.
She also said when Karkare interrogated her with questions related to the case and she replied, God knows”, he asked should he go to God to get the evidence. Responding to him, Thakur said, she told him he should go (to God).
“I told him, you will be ruined. And you won’t believe me, he died in less than one and a half months,” she said.
Hemant Karkare, along with two more senior police officers Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar, were killed outside Cama Hospital in Mumbai after terrorists including Ajmal Kasab, who was later caught alive, and his partner Abu Ismail opened fire at their police van on November 26, 2008.
Less than two months prior to that, six persons were killed and over 100 sustained injuries in a bomb blast in Malegaon, Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008. Hemant Karkare was probing the case, and he had tracked down the owner of the motorcycle that had been used in the crime. The motorcycle was found to be of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested Thakur and others on October 24, 2008. The ATS said they were all part of a Hindu extremist group that carried out the blast.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which later took over the case, gave a clean chit to Thakur in May 2016.
While Thakur was named in three cases — the 2008 Malegaon blast, the 2006 Sunil Joshi murder case and the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast — charges were framed in one of these cases, and dropped in another, and she was acquitted in one case.
Thakur is currently facing trial under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in a Mumbai court for allegedly conspiring and abetting a terror act and also has murder to criminal conspiracy charges against her. Currently out on bail, Thakur has been fielded against Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal, and she is likely to file her nominations on April 23.