Bar Sadhvi Pragya from contesting election, Malegaon blast victim’s father urges court

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Published: April 19, 2019 10:30:10 AM

The development comes just days after the BJP fielded Sadhvi Pragya to take on senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

Sadhvi Pragya, Sadhvi Pragya cases, Sadhvi Pragya news, lok sabha polls, lok sabha elections 2019, Sadhvi Pragya bhopal, Malegaon blastThakur, a key accused in the 2008 blast case, is out on bail since 2017 and is contesting the Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket from Bhopal. (PTI)

The father of one of the six persons killed in the Malegaon blast 2008 has approached the court urging it to bar Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from contesting the Lok Sabha election. Thakur, a key accused in the 2008 blast case, is out on bail since 2017 and is contesting the Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket from Bhopal.

Petitioner Nisar Ahmed Sayyed has opposed Thakur’s bail pleas, saying she should be asked to attend court proceedings and be barred from contesting the polls as the trial against her is still in progress.

Acting on the application, Special NIA judge VS Padalkar has sought replies from both the National Investigating Agency (NIA) and Thakur and posted the matter for Monday. The development comes just days after the BJP fielded Sadhvi Pragya to take on senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

Thakur was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad for her alleged involvement in the 2008 blast case in which six people lost their lives and several were injured. The case was later transferred to the NIA which dropped charges against Thakur under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. It gave clean chit to her after several witnesses turned hostile. However, the trial against her is still on under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Several opposition leaders have opposed the induction of Thakur into the BJP. National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said that if Sadhvi was fit to contest the election, she was also fit to be in jail. He said that the BJP has fielded a person who is an accused in a terror case and is out on bail citing poor health. “I hope the court which gave her bail cancels it as if she is fit enough to contest, she is fit to be in jail,” he said.

However, the saffron party has defended the move saying that the cases against Sadhvi were manufactured in an attempt to defame Hindus.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Tehseen Poonawalla has written to the Election Commission requesting it to debar Thakur from fighting the election. He said that the ATS had found Thakur to be the ‘principal conspirator’ in the Malegaon blast. Poonawalla has requested the commission to take necessary and appropriate action against Sadhvi Pragya.

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