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Want to Avenge Insult to Karkare: His Ex-Deputy Taking on Pragya

Deshmukh, a retired ACP, filed his nomination from Bhopal as an independent candidate.

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Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

Miffed with 2008 Malegaon blast accused and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP’s) Bhopal candidate Pragya Thakur’s statement on 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare, retired assistant commissioner of police (ACP) and Karkare’s former deputy from Maharashtra Riyaz Deshmukh has decided to fight against her.

Deshmukh, a resident of Aurangabad in Maharastra, filed his nomination from Bhopal parliamentary constituency seat as an independent candidate and might get ‘whistle’ as his poll symbol. His affidavit says he is a “free-lancer and blogger” with annual income of Rs 5.6 lakh in the 2016-17 fiscal.

“After Sadhvi filed her nomination from Bhopal, I made up my mind to contest against her because I cannot see anyone maligning the image of one of the finest and most upright officers in Maharashtra,” said Deshmukh over phone a day after filing nomination.

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Deshmukh, who started his career under Karkare and was once the officer’s deputy, said Karkare guided him in all professional matters and always stood by him. “I want to avenge the insult to Hemant Karkare and will start my campaign from April 29 in Bhopal,” the 60-year-old said over phone.

During a public meeting, last week, Pragya Thakur said that former Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Hemant Karkare died after she had cursed him. “I had told him you will be destroyed, and he was gone in less than two months during 2008 Mumbai attack,” she said.

Deshmukh served Maharashtra Police for over three decades and retired as ACP, Amravati, in 2016. He has lived in Aurangabad ever since, and started a web portal named ‘dilligatenews’. He also offers counselling services in legal cases to civilians and serving policemen.

A sub-inspector from the 1986 batch, Deshmukh was posted as a probationary officer in Akola, where he served for nine years. During this time, he came in contact with Karkare, who was posted as Akola SP in 1988. He remained in touch with Karkare till the Mumbai ATS chief was killed by terrorists in the 26/11 attacks.

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