Jui Navare, daughter of former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare who was killed in the 26/11 attack, said she will not dignify Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Pragya Thakur’s remarks on her father with a response. In an interview with The Indian Express, Navare said her father had taught her that terrorism has no religion.
Thakur had claimed that she had cursed Karkare, leading to his death in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The BJP’s Bhopal candidate, accused in the 2008 Malegaon, blasts later claimed that the media distorted her comments.
Jui Navare currently lives in the United States.
“I do not want to dignify her [Thakur] or her statement,” Navare was quoted as saying. “I only want to talk about Hemant Karkare. He was a role model and his name should be taken with dignity.”
She said her father loved his uniform and prioritised it above his family and his own life. “No religion teaches anyone to kill each other,” the daily quoted her as saying. “It’s the ideology that has to be defeated. In his life, in his 24-year career in the police department, he helped everyone. Even in his death, he was trying to save his city, his country. I just want everyone to remember that.”
Karkare’s daughter said her father was completely occupied with the Malegaon investigation and that her mother always “feared for his life” because she “was very worried about the case and its implications”. “On the case, I fully supported his findings. I knew whatever he did would be correct,” Navare said. “He was an officer who went by the book. I know him as a daughter… A person like him would always ensure justice.”
Six people were killed and 101 injured in the Malegaon blasts. Thakur 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.
A group of 200 people, including family members of victims of the 2008 Malegaon blasts and activists, from Maharashtra will travel to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh to campaign against Thakur, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.
Seventy-one former bureaucrats have signed an open letter urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party to withdraw Thakur’s candidature.