Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionary Indresh Kumar has defended Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Thakur for her controversial remark directed at former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare who was killed in November 2008 during a gunfight against Pakistani terrorists. Indresh referred to Karkare as a martyr, but said that he cannot respect him. Speaking to reporters in Bhopal, Indresh said that the officer died of terrorists bullets and deserves respect. He, however, said that Karkare wrongly tortured Pragya Thakur and others. He was replying to a question on the RSS views on BJP MP Sadhvi Pragyas remark wherein she had said that Karkare was killed during the 2008 Mumbai attacks because of her curse. Pragyas remarks, made in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, had sparked a major row. Indresh Kumar also lashed out at the Congress party for coining the term bhagwa aatankwad (saffron terror) and accused it of misusing central agencies when in power to target leaders like Pragya Thakur. He said that the Congress tried to frame Pragya Thakur and others in false cases. One can pay tributes to Hemant Karkare who died in a terrorist attack, but he cant be respected, he said. Hemant Karkare died of terrorists bullets, so he is a martyr and deserves respect. However, then Congress government misused agencies and tortured a woman (Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur) under the conspiracy of bhagwa aatankwad. Still, Pragya exhibited humanity by amending her statement (on Karkare) after there was uproar over her remarks, the RSS leader added. Karkare was the chief of the ATS when he was killed during a gunfight with Pakistani terrorists in November 2008 in Mumbai. He was made the ATS chief in January same year and was credited with solving several serial bombing cases and led the investigation of the 2008 Malegaon blasts in which Pragya Thakur was a prime accused. She was granted bail in 2017 on health grounds. She defeated Congress Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal parliamentary seat in the recent general elections. Karkare was posthumously given the Ashoka Chakra, countrys highest peacetime gallantry award.