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Barbaric treatment to sadhvi shocking: Advani

November 18, 2008

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday accused the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad of acting in a politically-motivated and unprofessional manner in the Malegaon blast case and meting out 'barbaric treatment' to sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and demanded a change in the team probing the incident.

"It is clear that the ATS is acting in a politically-motivated and unprofessional manner. After going through her (sadhvi Pragya) affidavit, I have to express my shock and outrage, which I am sure all Indians will share," BJP leader L K Advani [Images] said during his one-day tour of the poll-bound BJP-ruled Chattisgarh.

The National Democratic Alliance's prime ministerial candidate also demanded a judicial inquiry into allegations of torture.

"In view of the shocking charges made against the ATS by the sadhvi and the fact that the investigating team has lost all moral authority, I demand a change in the team and a judicial inquiry into the charges and also the manner in which unsubstantiated allegations have been made against army personnel," he said.

Advani said, "So far, I had refrained from commenting on the allegations levelled by the ATS against sadhvi Pragya and her supposed associates but after going through her affidavit detailing how she was physically and psychologically tortured and abused by her interrogators, I have to express my shock and outrage."

"I cannot believe that such barbaric treatment has been meted out to a spiritual person, that too, a woman in a country that prides itself on its democracy and rule of law," he added. 

                                       The full text of Advani's statement

Image: Advani addresses a rally at Raipur in Chhattisgarh on Monday. Photograph: PTI

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