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Sadhvi Pragya's comments 'sickening and repulsive': Punjab CM

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 19, 2019  | 21:33 IST

Chandigarh, Apr 19 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Friday slammed BJP's Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for her controversial remarks on IPS officer Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, saying her comments were "sickening and repulsive". Thakur, while addressing BJP workers at a rally in Bhopal on Thursday, claimed that Karkare died during the attacks as she "cursed" him for torturing her. She has been has been pitted by the BJP against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh. Singh described Thakur's comments as “sickening and repulsive” and accused her of insulting a decorated police officer, and dragging the current discourse on nationalism in the country to a new low. Karkare, who headed the Mumbai anti-terror squad, died in the terror attacks in 2008. Two other senior police officers were also killed fighting terrorists during the attacks. “That woman cannot be sane. No person in their sane mind can think or talk like that, and that too about a police officer who sacrificed his life for the nation,” Singh said in a statement here. Expressing his anger over Thakur's “atrocious” comments, the chief minister tweeted, “Is she sane? Sadhvi Pragya has dragged patriotism to a new low by attacking decorated dead IPS officer #HemantKarkare who sacrificed himself to fight terrorism & here's an official @BJP4India candidate insulting his memory!" "It's an insult to our men in uniform & to every Indian,” Singh said on Twitter. Thakur has not just “insulted” a police officer but has shown “disrespect” to every man in uniform, he said. Her remarks have “exposed the true colours” of the BJP, which has been claiming the “nationalist” agenda as its key poll plank and projecting itself as the only protector of “nationhood”, Singh said. The fact that the two BJP leaders were present at the event where she made the remarks and they did not try to stop her or make amends in anyway shows that the BJP's “saffron agenda” overrides every other agenda, including patriotism and nationalism, he alleged. Singh dismissed as “crap” the BJP's subsequent attempt to alienate itself from the controversial remarks. The BJP distanced itself from the remarks, describing them as "personal", but the late IPS officer's colleagues berated her for insulting him. “Every BJP member, especially a candidate, only resonates the thinking and philosophy of the party. So the BJP cannot wriggle out of its responsibility in the matter by simply shrugging its shoulders as an afterthought,” Singh said. He alleged that after “demolishing” all the vital democratic institutions of the country during the five years of its total "misrule", the BJP is now trying to “destroy” the very fabric of civilization by fielding such shamelessly prejudiced and divisive elements. “They have reduced this election to a mockery by bringing in criminals. If the BJP does not support the Sadhvi's viewpoint then why is she still with the party,” he asked. “What kind of nationalism is this? Definitely not what our freedom-fighters sacrificed their lives for,” he added, appealing to the people to vote out these forces of “hatred and divisiveness” to save the nation's Constitutional ethos and character. “We cannot let these people destroy our country. We cannot let them get away with their destructive agenda,” Singh asserted. He vowed to do everything in his power to counter their nefarious designs. Thakur is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon terror blasts case, which was led by Karkare. She had said Karkare committed an "anti-national" act by falsely implicating her in the Malegaon blasts case and keeping her behind bars without evidence. "It was treason. It was against religion," she said. "He tortured me and subjected me to harsh abuse which was unbearable. I told him he will be destroyed. A little over a month later 'sutak' (ritual observed after death of a family member) was going to start...just over a month later, he was shot dead by terrorists and the inauspicious period ended," she said. Out on bail, Thakur has been discharged by a court on charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the 2008 case, but is still facing trial under other criminal provisions, including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. PTI CHS VSD ANB ANB ANB

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