Congress leader Devendra Singh Yadav on Saturday filed a police complaint against BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for her comment on late Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare. Earlier in the day, the Election Commission of India (ECI) issued a notice Sadhvi Pragya for alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct by making comments on Hemant Karkare.
The notice was issued by Bhopal District Election Officer and Collector Sudam Khade, seeking an explanation from her within a day on her comments. Thakur, who is contesting against Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh, had said on April 18 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 (Karkare) said that he will bring evidence but will not leave me. I told him -- You will be ruined," Thakur had said. Thakur is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
On Friday, the Indian Police Service (IPS) Association condemned her "insulting" statement. "Ashok Chakra awardee late Sri Hemant Karkare, IPS, made the supreme sacrifice fighting terrorists. Those of us in uniform condemn the insulting statement made by a candidate and demand that sacrifices of all our martyrs be respected," the IPS Association wrote on its Twitter handle.
Thakur has also faced flak from the opposition parties over her controversial remarks. The BJP has distanced itself from the controversy, stating that her comments were personal.
The remarks were probably due to the "mental and physical torture" she underwent during the investigation in the case, the party said. "The BJP strongly believes that late Hemant Karkare attained martyrdom while fighting against the terrorists. BJP has always considered 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," read a statement from the party.
(With inputs from agencies.)