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Sadhvi Pragya Thakur - interesting story of an open turn of destiny
On September 29, 2008, two bombs fitted on a motorcycle had exploded in Malegaon in Maharashtra, around 270 km from Mumbai, killing seven people and injuring over 100 innocent Indians.

Sadhvi Pragya was arrested in October 2008 in the case and later another prime accused Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit was also arrested in November that year. Both were charged with plotting the blasts as part of a pro-Hindu group, Abhinav Bharat. At the time of her arrest, the Sadhvi was charged for allegedly planning the terror blast and providing a two-wheeler that was used to plant the bomb. The court charged Thakur and seven others under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), which deal with conspiracy to commit, advocate, incite or knowingly facilitate a terrorist act. The court also charged Thakur for criminal conspiracy under the Explosive Substances Act.

The reader would recall that before the BJP came to power in 2014, riding high on the popularity of NaMo's promises, the terms Saffron Terror had become synonymous with Sadhvi Pragya and Lt Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit. The Congress party was ruling the country those days. Nearly eight years later after the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had presented videos and transcripts purportedly showing Sadhvi as part of conspiracy meetings for the 2008 Malegaon blasts.

However, during the BJP rule, on May 2016, the National Investigating Agency, which was probing the Malegaon case, dropped stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) charges against her in its charge sheet filed before a local court in Mumbai. Both the ATS and NIA backtracked before the court. Sadhvi Thakur was given a clean chit in the case by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2016.

Judge Tekale acknowledged in the judgment that there was "no direct evidence regarding discussion of causing bomb blast at Malegaon amongst the accused persons except in Bhopal meeting". But the court also noted that witnesses had retracted statements in which they said there was a discussion on carrying out a bomb blast at Malegaon in the Bhopal meeting.

However, in its December 2017 order, the Mumbai judge had noted that there was sufficient material to frame charges against Thakur.

Thakur, who is known for her incendiary comments and speeches, had been associated with the radical Hindu outfit Abhinav Bharat and Durga Vahini, which is the women's wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Sadhvi Rithambara Thakur is Hindu political activist, and religious preacher. She is known for her participation in the movement that led to the 'demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 for which she was later indicted by the Liberhan Commission. She was arrested in Indore, Madhya Pradesh in April, 1995 on the charge of inciting communal passions, after giving a speech in which she had calledMother Theresa a "magician" and the then Chief Minister of UP Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav a "man-eater". Her speech was a denouncement of Christian missionaries who she alleged were converting Hindus into Christianity.

An accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts will now contest as the BJP candidate from Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal, where former chief minister Digvijaya Singh is the Congress candidate. Sadhvi Pragya is still out on bail in the above mentioned cases. Politics is a strange game! 

The noted journalist Sagarika Ghosh has tweeted today: 

The choice of candidate reveals the current mentality of today's @BJP4India clearly playing very hard
Hindutva in #GeneralElections2019.
Sadhvi Pragya cleared of MCOCA but still has UAPA charges against her.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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