- Eight former top cops slam Pragya Thakur for comments on Hemant Karkare
- "He died defending the country": Former police officers in statement
- Pragya Thakur raised a storm with a string of controversial comments
Eight former top police officers on Sunday condemned BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha seat candidate Pragya Thakur for her comments that 26/11 hero Hemant Karkare died because she had "cursed" him.
In a joint statement signed by former director generals of police Julio Ribeiro, Prakash Singh, PKH Tharakan, Kamal Kumar, Jacob Punoose, Sanjeev Dayal, Jayanto N Choudhury and N Ramachandran, the former top cops said, "Hemant Karkare fell to terrorist bullets on 26/11 in the line of duty while defending his country. He would probably be alive today had he not volunteered to return to the Maharashtra cadre from a plum posting at the centre with the specific intention of working with the Anti-Terror Squad to prevent and investigate the activities of terrorists, so that the rest of us could sleep safe in our beds. The country owes him a huge debt of gratitude. Anything that detracts from this is worthy of strong condemnation."
Since her induction into the BJP and nomination from Bhopal last week, Pragya Thakur has raised a political storm with a string of controversial comments. "I had told him (Hemant Karkare) you will be finished, and he was killed by terrorists in less than two months," Pragya Thakur had bragged at a press conference on Thursday, flanked by BJP leaders who clapped at the execrable words. The Election Commission has issued a second notice to her over another controversial comment on the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
"This despicable and regrettable statement of Pragya Thakur only serves to highlight the need to publicly recognise the supreme sacrifice made by the 35,000 police personnel from all corners of India who since Independence have laid down their lives in the line of duty," the statement by the former police officers said.
"Under-resourced and often working 24x7 in the most challenging conditions, these brave men and women have unflinchingly answered the call of duty, even when it called for the ultimate sacrifice," they said.
On Sunday, Lieutenant General DS Hooda (retired), who oversaw the cross-border surgical strikes in September 2016 as the former Northern Command chief of the Army, also condemned Pragya Thakur's comments.
"Yes, it hurts. Any martyr, police or Army, he must get all respect. These utterances are not good," Lt General Hooda told reporters at an event where he released a report that he had prepared on the country's national security.