In the general election of 2019, endless sectarian issues are being thrown up by the ruling BJP. To top issues like the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Kabristan, Vande Mataram, pseudo-nationalism, now the BJP has put up Pragya Thakur as its candidate from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat.

Thakur is one of the key accused in acts of terror, particularly in cases related to the Malegaon, Ajmer, Makkah Masjid and Samjhauta Express bomb blasts, in which many innocents lost their lives and hundreds were injured.

Since joining the BJP a fortnight ago and being nominated as a Lok Sabha candidate Thakur has issued many statements, which are very disturbing at one level and at another show her mindset and the RSS-BJP’s.

After the Malegaon terror attack of 2008, in which six people died and over a hundred were injured, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief heading the investigation, Hemant Karkare, after painstaking investigation got a vital clue.

It related to the motorcycle used in the Malegaon blast. Based on the chassis number of the motorcycle he caught hold of Pragya Thakur, in whose name the vehicle was registered.

This led to a series of arrests in which Lt Col Purohit, Major Upadhyay, Swami Dayanand Pandey and Swami Aseemanand among others were found to have been involved. The laptops, the conversation and other meticulously collected evidence led to the unearthing of a deeper plot, in which many of the accused were related to the RSS in some way.

One of the crucial pieces of evidence was the confession of Swami Aseemanand. In a legally valid confession in front of a magistrate he revealed the whole plot.

After NDA II, comprised mostly of the BJP, came to power in 2014, the National Investigation Agency started pursuing the cases with a different approach. The biggest evidence of this was the statement of Rohini Salian, the public prosecutor concerned, who stated that she had been told to go softer on the cases. She refused to do so and was removed from her role as public prosecutor.

In Thakur’s case, the NIA in 2016 approached the courts with a chargesheet exonerating her of the crime. It also stated that she had breast cancer and was unable to walk even with support. The court in its wisdom framed the chargesheet against her and granted her bail purely on medical grounds, without exonerating her of the crime.

As matters stand, she is accused of terrorist activity and is on bail on medical grounds.

After her nomination from Bhopal Thakur announced that Hemant Karkare was killed due to her curse (shrap). Karkare along with two other police officers died in the 26/11/2008 terror attack sponsored from Pakistan. Karkare, a brave officer chose to fight the terror attack on the streets and died from terrorists’ bullets.

Now Pragya Thakur’s statement is the worst insult to a martyr who died while performing his duties, trying to save the nation from a terror attack. Later she retracted her statement saying she was doing so as it may benefit the enemies!

Some pointed out that if she has the mythical power of dealing curses, why didn’t she do so to the terror masterminds sitting in Pakistan?

Thakur also alleged that Karkare had tortured her, so she cursed him. But the National Human Rights Commission investigated this issue and found no evidence of torture whatsoever. Karkare’s investigation was based purely on the grounds of evidence collected by him and his team of professionals.

In the aftermath of this insult many wellknown names from the police force, known for their integrity and upright work like Julio Rebeiro, Prakash Singh and Meeran Borwankar among others, came forward through articles or TV interviews to share their opinion of Karkare. As per them, Karkare was an upright, honest officer with a professional approach to his work. During his lifetime he was called deshdrohi (traitor, anti-national) by many leaders of Hindutva.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi came forward to defend the BJP’s nomination of terror-accused Pragya Thakur, by saying that to accuse her of being involved in an act of terror is to insult the five thousand year old Hindu civilisation!

Does Pragya Thakur represent the civilisational values of this land? Far from it. India’s past is plural, interactive and accepting with open arms of traditions which prevail within and without. India’s civilisation is represented by likes of Gautam Buddh, Bhagwan Mahavir, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Nizamuddin Auliya and Gandhi among others – who talked of love, tolerance and peace – and not by the likes of Pragya Thakur.

Thakur’s suffering from breast cancer is another mystery. The medical board headed by the JJ Hospital dean found her not to be suffering from any cancer. She claims to have been cured by cow urine and panchgavya. Panch Gavya is a mixture of cow milk, urine, dung, curd and ghee.

Such preposterous claims are in line with the blind faith being promoted by sectarian nationalism, which is propounded by the ideology to which she belongs. Her illness, and its cure by panch gavya is a mystery in itself.

Thakur also claims to have been part of the Babri monument demolition squad. The Election Commission has given her a notice on this issue. So this is a self confessed crime! Apart from being the major accused in Malegaon blasts for which the case against her is still on, she is confessing to her crime in the Babri demolition. What type of signal is being given by the BJP in naming her as a candidate for Parliament?

Surely the BJP is unfolding its Hindutva agenda to the full by now. Earlier with people like Vajpayee at the helm, the moderate image was the electoral compulsion. Now with increased communalisation after 2002, Ram Temple and Holy Cow, the BJP is feeling emboldened enough to reveal its true colour: divisiveness, violence and sectarianism.

It stands for something which is totally against the values of the Indian Constitution.

Courtesy: The Citizen

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Islamabad: Pakistan is ready to hold talks with the new Indian government to resolve all outstanding issues, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said.

Addressing an Iftar dinner in Multan on Saturday, Qureshi said both India and Pakistan should sit on negotiation table to solve issues for the sake of prosperity and peace of the region, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

His remarks came two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday led his Bharatiya Janata Party towards a super-sized victory for a second term in office.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday congratulated Modi on his electoral triumph and expressed desire to work with him for peace and prosperity in the region.

"I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia," Khan tweeted in both English and Urdu.

In April, Khan said he believed there may be a better chance of peace talks with India and settle the Kashmir issue if Modi's party wins the general elections.

The results of India's general elections are very significant for Pakistan as the new government in New Delhi will determine the course of Indo-Pakistan ties, which were pushed to a new low after the Pulwama terror attack.

Just a day before the announcement of results, Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday exchanged pleasantries on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Foreign Ministers' meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He conveyed to her Pakistan's desire to resolve all issues through dialogue.

Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14.

Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured an IAF pilot, who was handed over to India.