Bhopal: A senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary has said that one may pay tributes to Maharashtra Anti-terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, who died in action during the 26/11 attacks, but one cannot respect him. (Also read: Pragya Thakur Pulled up by BJP High Command For Her Comment)

RSS national executive member Indresh Kumar said on Wednesday that the Congress-led government used the “uniform” to inflict torture on Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Thakur even though her crime was yet to be proved. Kumar said, “Aatanki hamle me maare gaye Hemant Karkare ko shraddhanjali di ja sakti hai, par unka aadar nahin kiya ja sakta (One can pay tributes to Hemant Karkare who died in a terrorist attack, but he cannot be respected).”

Continuing in the same vein, he said, “Balidan ka samman hai, lekin Karkare ke atyachar ko ankit karna bhi jaruri hai (Sacrifice is respected, but Karkare’s excesses should also be pointed out).” “We all must acknowledge the fact that she (Pragya Thakur) exhibited humanity and corrected her statement (on Karkare) after there was a furore over her remarks.”

While campaigning during the Lok Sabha elections in April-May, Thakur had said that Karkare had tortured her when she was in custody and that he had lost his life in the terrorist attack because of his curse.

“Maine kaha that tera sarvanash hoga (I cursed him that he would be finished),” she had said. After her remarks led to nationwide outrage, Thakur retracted the statement and issued an apology. The Election Commission also pulled her up.

Indresh Kumar added, “But you people (media) stretched the issue and continued to hurl questions at her. You should have been a little considerate after she retracted her statement.”

Thakur was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS along with several others in the case of the Malegaon bomb blasts on the allegation that they were part of an extremist group which carried out the explosion. She is the prime accused in the case and as it was her bike that was used to fit the explosive.

She is currently out on bail and is facing terrorism charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.