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Pragya Thakur to get notice from ECI for remarks against slain police officer Hemant Karkare

Addressing BJP workers in Bhopal on Thursday night, Ms. Thakur claimed that Karkare died during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks as she had “cursed” him for torturing her.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is set to issue a notice to 2008 Malegaon blasts accused and BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur for her remarks against police officer Hemant Karkare, who was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, an officer said on Saturday.

Addressing BJP workers in Bhopal on Thursday night, Ms. Thakur claimed that Karkare died during the attacks as she had “cursed” him for torturing her.

However, after her remarks kicked up a row, she tendered an apology on Friday.

“We took suo motu cognisance of the statement and sought a report from the assistant returning officer (ARO) on the matter. We got the report this morning and we are going to issue notices, which are returnable within 24 hours, to the organiser of the programme and the person who made the statement,” District Election Officer and Bhopal Collector Sudam Khade told PTI.

“We are going to send the ARO report to the ECI.” The organiser of the event had been given permission on certain conditions as the Model Code of Conduct was in force, he said.

According to another ECI official, as per the conditions set before giving permission to an event, use of objectionable language to defame a particular person had been prohibited.

Out on bail, Ms. Thakur (48) 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.

Fielded against Digvijaya Singh

The BJP on Wednesday fielded her from the Bhopal seat, where she is set to have a direct contest with Congress heavyweight and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh.

Her statement against Karkare raised a political storm on Friday, with Opposition parties attacking the BJP, and the Congress demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, the BJP distanced itself from her comments, saying it was her “personal view” which she might have made “due to years of physical and mental torture”.

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