A relative of one of the victims in the 2008 Malegaon blasts on Thursday filed an intervention application before a special National Investigation Agency court, seeking orders to restrain Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pragya Singh Thakur from contesting the Lok Sabha elections. Thakur is the BJP’s candidate for the Bhopal seat.
At least six people were killed and 101 injured in the blasts on September 29, 2008.
The petitioner, Nisar Ahmed Sayyad Bilal, is the father of Sayyed Azhar Nisar Ahmed, who was killed in the blast, Live Law reported. Bilal said in his plea that Thakur was enlarged on bail on the pretext that she had breast cancer, but has been participating in various programs and giving objectionable speeches ever since she was released from jail in 2017. Bilal claimed that Thakur misled the court, since she has been campaigning for elections in the heat of summer despite being released on health grounds.
Bilal has urged the court to direct that Thakur be banned from contesting the polls, and that she should attend court in Mumbai as the trial is still under way.
Special National Investigation Agency cases judge VS Padalkar sought responses from both the agency and Thakur, and said the matter will be heard next on April 22, PTI reported.
Tehseen Poonawalla had earlier on Thursday written to the Election Commission against the BJP’s decision to field Thakur. Poonawalla, whose social media profiles describe him as a political trendwatcher and a life coach, said that the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad has pronounced Thakur as one of the “principal conspirators” in the Malegaon blasts. He said that the poll panel should bar Thakur from contesting the elections.
The Lok Sabha elections are being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, and the results will be declared on May 23. Polling will be held in Bhopal on May 12.