The Election Commission on Monday asked the police to file a First Information Report against Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Pragya Singh Thakur for her remark on the Babri Masjid demolition, PTI reported. The BJP’s Bhopal candidate for the Lok Sabha polls had on Saturday expressed “extreme pride” about her role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992.
The Election Commission on Saturday had issued a showcause notice to Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast accused currently out on bail, over her remark. “We are going to file an FIR against the BJP candidate for her remarks over Ayodhya at the TT Nagar Police Station,” district election officer and collector Sudam Khade told PTI on Monday.
Bhopal Sub-divisional magistrate Sanjay Kumar Srivastava told ANI that the district election officer had issued her with a notice. “Her response to it [notice] was not satisfactory,” Srivastava said. “Therefore, an FIR has been registered against her for a violation of Model Code of Conduct.”
She told reporters that her legal team will look into the matter.
Thakur is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case and is currently out on bail. During an interview with news channel TV9 Bharatvarsh, Thakur was quoted as saying “A grand Ram temple will be built. I had gone to demolish the structure and had climbed atop it to break it. I am tremendously proud of it. God gave me strength to wipe off a blot on this country.”
Thakur had, on Sunday, replied to the poll panel defending her comments. “I am not backtracking [from the remark],” she told reporters. “The structure was demolished and a grand temple will be constructed. Nobody can stop me from constructing a grand temple (at the disputed site).”
Six people were killed and 101 injured in the Malegaon blasts case. She is facing charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code. The Bombay High Court had granted bail to her in April 2017, noting that she had been in jail for more than eight years and was suffering from breast cancer.
On April 21, Thakur had told the Election Commission that she did not make any defamatory comments against former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare. The poll panel had issued a notice to Thakur last week for saying that she cursed Karkare leading to his death in the 26/11 attacks.
The BJP candidate claimed that the media had shown her remarks about Karkare in a negative light. “Taking people’s sentiments into account, I withdrew my statement,” Thakur added. She denied violating the Model Code of Conduct.
Meanwhile, BJP President Amit Shah downplayed criticism against her candidature and claimed that allegations against her are false. Shah said that the real accused in the Malegaon blast case had evaded the law.