Days after receiving flak for her remarks on late Hemant Karkare, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur got into another major controversy with her remarks that she took part in demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
The firebrand BJP leader, who is contesting against Congress’ Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal, told the media that she will also help on construction of a Ram temple.
“Yes, I had gone there (Ayodhya). I had said it yesterday too, and am not denying it. I had demolished the structure. I will go there and help in the construction of Ram temple. Nobody can stop us from doing that. Ram rashtra hain, rashtra Ram hain (Ram is the nation, the nation is Ram),” she said.
She said that “God had given strength to remove a scar on the face of the country” referring to the structure that was razed by fundamentalists in 1992 in Uttar Pradesh.
Following her remarks, the District Election Officer (DEO) in Bhopal served a second notice to Sadhvi Pragya.
The notice, which was issued on Saturday evening, the officer, Sudham Khade, sought an explanation from Thakur within a day while mentioning the statement in the notice.
The DEO said that Pragya’s statement was “in violation of chapter 4 of the model code of conduct”.
The chapter states: No activity, which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different caste/communities/religious/linguistic groups, shall be attempted.
The DEO had on 20 April issued a notice to Sadhvi Pragya, an accused in the Malegaon blasts, for her remarks on former Mumbai anti-terror squad chief Hemant Karkare.
Pragya Thakur had on 19 April, Friday, triggered a major outcry after she said former Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had died during the 26/11 terror attacks because of her “curse” and his “karma”.
Karkare was killed by Ajmal Kasab and another terrorist during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008.
At a public meeting in the Madhya Pradesh capital on Friday morning, the 48-year-old recounted the episode of her arrest and interrogation.
“Karkare asked me various questions and I replied ‘God knows’. At this, Karkare asked whether he would have to go to God to get the answers. Then, I told him that he would be destroyed and he was cursed… within a month and a half, he fell victim to the terrorists’ bullets,” Thakur could be heard saying (in Hindi) in a video released by news agency ANI.
The Indian Police Service (IPS) Association issued a statement condemning her remarks. Opposition parties Congress, AAP and AIMIM too attacked Thakur and the BJP over her remarks.
Sadhvi Pragya later apologised for her remarks stating that she felt that “the enemies of the country were being benefited from it”.
“He (Hemant Karkare) died from the bullets of terrorists from the enemy country, he is certainly a martyr,” she told reporters late on 19 April.
The BJP leader is yet to respond to the EC’s notice.