After receiving severe backlash from all quarters for her controversial comments on former Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur on Friday took back her statement and apologised saying she “felt that the enemies of the country were being benefited from it”.
“I felt that the enemies of the country were being benefited from it, therefore I take back my statement and apologise for it,” Thakur told reporters.
She added that what she said was her “personal pain”. “There is no doubt that he (Karkare) is a martyr as he died after being hit by the bullet of a terrorist from our enemy country,” she said.
On Thursday, Thakur, who is the BJP candidate against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal, had said that Karkare lost his life because she had “cursed him”.
“I called Hemant Karkare and asked him to let me go if there is no evidence (against me). He said that he will bring evidence but will not leave me. I told him – you will be ruined,” she had said.
BJP was quick to distance itself from her comments asserting that they were personal remarks probably due to the “mental and physical torture” she underwent during investigation in the case.
Thakur is among the seven accused facing trial in Malegaon blast case which Karkare was investigating. Six people were killed and a dozen 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.
Thakur 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, she remains an accused under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.