Hemant Karkare’s deputy jumps in poll fray against Pragya Thakur

Riyaz Deshmukh

Days after Malegaon blast accused and BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur made controversial remark against Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief late Hemant Karkare, deputy to Karkare and former Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Riyaz Deshmukh, has jumped into the poll fray against her.

“BJP has fielded Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in Malegaon blast case, against Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal. She has spoken against Hemant Karkare. She called him a traitor. It hurt me. Thereafter, I decided to contest the election as an independent against her from Bhopal,” Deshmukh told news agency ANI.

Deshmukh, who retired from the Police Department in 2016, said that no one should be allowed to humiliate the country’s martyrs, as they have sacrificed their lives while serving the nation.

Sharing his experience of working with Karkare, Deshmukh said: “I was like my mentor. I worked under him for many years and learnt many things from him.”

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Hemant Karkare, a senior IPS officer, was killed in action during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. In 2009, he was posthumously given the Ashoka Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry decoration.

Pragya Thakur, the key accused in the blast and currently out on the bail, recently said that Karkare died because she had cursed him. Later, she withdrew her statement, when she faced criticism from all quarters.

(With ANI inputs)

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