Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday demanded the cancellation of the bail given to Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur after she was named an election candidate by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Abdullah said that Thakur had been given bail on health grounds, and so, if she was fit enough to contest elections, she must be fit enough to be in jail too. Thakur was on Wednesday named the BJP’s candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency.
“Since the BJP depends on the religion card when it is left with nothing else, they have now given mandate from Bhopal to someone who is not just a terror accused, but is on bail,” the National Conference leader told reporters after casting his vote in Srinagar. “If her health is not good enough to stay in jail, how can she be fit enough to fight polls?”
Late on Wednesday, Abdullah had called it a “mockery of the legal system” by the BJP. “A person, an under-trial, who stands accused of terrorism; out on bail on health grounds but clearly healthy enough to fight elections in the crippling summer heat,” he tweeted. “Hindutva rules!”
Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti had also lashed out at the BJP on Wednesday and tweeted, “Imagine the anger if I’d field a terror accused.”
On September 29, 2008, at least six people died and several were injured in two blasts in Malegaon in Maharashtra. Thakur is one of the accused in the case. She has been charged under Section 18 (conspiracy) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code.
In April 2017, the Bombay High Court had accepted Thakur’s bail plea, and had said that the offences alleged against her were grave but it cannot be said that there are reasonable grounds to believe that they were prima facie true.
According to a report in The Hindu, the court had also said that Thakur is a woman and had been in jail for more than eight years and was suffering from breast cancer. Her medical reports showed that she had become infirm and could not walk without support, the court had observed.