Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 19
BJP leader Sadhvi Pragaya’s statement against 26/11 attack martyr police officer Hemant Karkare has piqued both serving and retired police officers who condemned her remark.
While the IPS Association (Central) took to Twitter to condemn Sadhvi, Julio Ribeiro, former Punjab DGP, told The Tribune that he was aghast at her statement.
He said Sadhvi didn’t know what she was talking about. “How do you expect people like her to respect police officers and martyrs. Such statements are highly damaging for the force. I don’t understand why Karkare would be making a false case against Sadhvi as she alleged.”
Parkash Singh, former Haryana DGP, who has led the movement for police reforms, said he was angry at the remarks made by Sadhvi against Karkare. He told The Tribune, “It is a condemnable statement. Policemen already do not get recognition for their service and hard work in hazardous conditions. But it is highly irresponsible to trivialise their contribution by claiming that Karkare died due to her spiritual powers. I am apprehensive that power has already gone to her head after getting the BJP ticket and wonder what will happen if she comes to power.”
Former Punjab DGP SS Virk of Maharashtra cadre and a close friend of Hemant Karkare has in his reaction said, “Sadhvi seems to have forgotten that Karkare, too, was a Hindu, but he lived and sacrificed his life as an Indian.” Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh lashed out at the BJP’s Bhopal candidate for insulting a decorated dead police officer and accused the hardliner of dragging the current nationalism discourse in the country to a new low.
In a hard-hitting reaction to Sadhvi’s comment that it was her “curse” that led to Maharashtra Police officer Karkare being killed while fighting the Mumbai terror attack of November 2008, the Chief Minister said: “That woman cannot be sane. No person in their sane mind can think or talk like that, and that too about a police officer who sacrificed his life for the nation.”
“Sadhvi Pragya has not just insulted a police officer but has shown disrespect to every man in uniform,” said Capt Amarinder, adding that Sadhvi’s remark had exposed the true colours of the BJP, which had been claiming the “nationalist” agenda as its key poll plank and projecting itself as the only protector of “our nationhood”.
Is she sane? Sadhvi Pragya has dragged patriotism to a new low by attacking decorated dead IPS officer #HemantKarkare who sacrificed himself to fight terrorism & here’s an official @BJP4India candidate insulting his memory! It’s an insult to our men in uniform & to every Indian — Capt Amarinder Singh, CM
It is a condemnable statement. Policemen already do not get recognition for their service and hard work in hazardous conditions. But it is irresponsible to trivialise their contribution by claiming that Karkare died due to her spiritual powers. — Parkash Singh, former DGP, Haryana
Sadhvi seems to have forgotten that Karkare, too, was a Hindu, but he lived and sacrificed his life as an Indian. — SS Virk, former DGP, Punjab