New Delhi: Pragya Singh Thakur, the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate for Bhopal and an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, has been widely claiming that cow urine cured her cancer.
“I was a patient of cancer and I cured myself by consuming gau mutra and panchgavya mixed Ayurvedic herbs,” she told India Today TV.
While the BJP candidate, who is currently out on bail, often makes claims of how cow urine cured her, she doesn’t talk about her bilateral mastectomy (removal of both breasts).
A report in The Hindu today had the doctor who did her surgeries come on record with details of the three surgeries, and ultimately the mastectomy, that she underwent. He has spoken to the media before as well.
Additionally, over the last few years, there has been dispute over whether or not Thakur had cancer. In 2014, the Bombay high court observed that her case was that of a simple tumour and not of cancer. They refused to grant her bail on her claimed medical grounds. In 2015, her bail was again rejected even though she had claimed she had health issues.
Another somewhat conflicting report in Mumbai Mirror this week says that that the ex-dean of JJ Hospital in Mumbai, where she had also apparently had one surgery, says that in 2010, her tests had not shown any signs of cancer. But in 2010, she had claimed to have cancer while the Anti Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra was examining her role in the blasts.
One unnamed doctor from JJ Hospital told the Mumbai Mirror: “The CA 125 breast marker test to determine cancer was negative. Her MRI scan report was absolutely normal, and so was the ECG.”
Pragya Singh’s three cancer surgeries
While she claims cow urine cured her cancer, the doctor who has operated on her thrice – Dr S.S. Rajput – said that she was diagnosed early on, with stage 1 of an aggressive cancer.
Rajput is a surgeon at the Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow. “I operated on her first in 2008 at the Mumbai’s JJ Hospital when she had developed a tumour in the right breast. At that time, the report of the tumour was inconclusive. In 2012, the tumour recurred,” he said.
The second surgery was at a private hospital in Bhopal and it removed one third of her right breast with the tumour.
The third surgery and the bilateral mastectomy was carried out at his hospital in Lucknow. In 2017, Rajput spoke to the media after the surgery saying: “The tissues in both her breasts have been removed with consent so that there are negligible chances of cancer relapse.”
Many of these medical documents have been submitted in court, said Rajput.
Her cancer by 2017
According to the order in which Pragya Thakur was given bail – a copy of which The Wire has examined – the court noted in April 2017 that medical documents showed that she is still “suffering from breast cancer”. They granted her bail. By July 2017, she had the successful bilateral mastectomy.
The medical report also said that she had “become infirm and cannot even walk without support” and that she was taking treatment in an Ayurvedic hospital.
“In our opinion, Ayurvedic Hospital cannot give proper treatment to the Appellant, who is suffering from cancer,” noted the order. The judges then went on to grant her bail, saying “Taking, therefore, totality of the facts and circumstances of the case mentioned here-in-above, we are of the considered opinion that the Appellant has made out a case for bail.”
Too infirm to walk but not to campaign?
The bail order reasoned that her ill health was one of the grounds for their granting of bail. Now that she is campaigning publicly for the Lok Sabha elections, an article in The Wire today reports how the father of one of the six victims in the blast has tried to move court against her candidature and her bail. His application has been rejected, with the court telling him that the NIA court doesn’t have the jurisdiction to look into this issue.