A day after Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s comment on former Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare created a political furore, the Malegaon blast accused Friday took back her statement and apologised saying she is doing so as she feels "the enemies of the country were being benefited from it".
Karkare had died fighting terrorists during 26/11 Mumbai attack. He was leading the probe into the Malegaon attack.
"I felt that the enemies of the country were being benefited from it, therefore I take back my statement and apologize for it, it was my personal pain," the BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal told ANI, moments after the saffron party released a press statement saying that it was her personal statement. The party has distanced itself from Sadhvi’s statement on Karkare.
"He (Karkare) died from the bullets of terrorists from the enemy country, he is certainly a martyr," Thakur said, a day after she accused the officer of torturing her in the jail and comparing him with Ravana and Kansa.
She tendered the apology for her "emotionally-charged" remarks, at a public meeting in Berasia area, 45 km from the district headquarters," her aide Upma Singh said. "Pragya ji said if her remarks have hurt someone, she was sorry for it," he told PTI.
The Congress has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must apologise for Pragya Thakurs remarks on Karkare and take action against her. Other Opposition parties like Aam Aadmi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have also lashed out at BJP over Sadhvi’s comments.
The BJP today said it has always considered Karkare as a martyr and the comments made by Sadhvi are her personal thoughts since she underwent years of physical and mental torture. "BJP considers him a martyr. This is Sadhvi Pragya's personal statement which she might have given because of the mental and physical torture she had faced," the party statement read.
WATCH: Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur breaks down while addressing BJP workers
Addressing BJP workers in Bhopal Thursday night, Pragya had also claimed that Karkare had "made up his mind" not to release her from custody.
"Hemant Karkare was called by the (blast) probe panel member to Mumbai. I was then in a Mumbai jail. The commission member told him that if he didn’t have any proof against me, he should not unlawfully hold me in jail," she said.
"But he (Karkare) said he will do anything to bring the proof…Will do anything…will create it, bring it from here and there, but will not release Sadhvi," she said.
The 44-year-old, who is currently on bail in 2008 Malegaon blast case, has been fielded by the BJP from Bhopal against Congress’ Digvijaya Singh. With Thakur joining the fray, the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat is poised to witness a gripping contest in a constituency that has been a saffron bastion for nearly three decades. Congress has not won Bhopal Lok Sabha seat since 1989. The Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, which has a sizable Muslim population, will go to the polls on May 12.
Thakur has been making provocative statements ever since BJP announced her candidature from Bhopal on Wednesday. She has also tweeted comments on the Gandhi family and questioned the conduct of media for calling her a suspected terrorist when a criminal like Mukhtar Ansari is called "Bahubali".
Sadhvi is facing trial for her alleged role in the blast that left six dead and 101 injured. She has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for conspiring and abetting a terror act and also faces charges ranging from murder to criminal conspiracy.
-With Agency inputs