FIR against BJP MLA for ‘attacking’ activists

Four arrested; the MLA from Aklera, Kanwar Lal Meena, denies any role in the violence

January 18, 2016 12:00 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:34 pm IST - JAIPUR:

A day after an FIR was lodged against a BJP MLA and about 35 persons for allegedly attacking a group working for social activists Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey, police arrested four persons in connection with the violence.

Though the FIR does not name the MLA, the activists who were allegedly attacked have confirmed that the MLA from Aklera, Kanwar Lal Meena, was involved in the incident.

A 100-day jawabdehi yatra questioning accountability of the government and raising awareness about its schemes across Rajasthan began in December last year. It saw the participation of about 100 organisations under the banner ‘Soochana Evam Rozgar Ka Adhikar Abhiyan’. The yatra has a major participation from Ms. Roy and Mr. Dey’s organisation Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS).

On Saturday evening, members partaking in the yatra, including women, were attacked by a mob in Jhalawar district’s Aklera region. They have alleged that MLA Meena and about 35 of his supporters beat the activists with lathis and slapped some women.

“The yatra was being taken out peacefully until it was suddenly attacked by a mob,” Mr. Dey said in a statement to the media on Sunday.

A statement issued by the MKSS said: “The BJP MLA began the assault by attacking MKSS activist Shankar Singh… The MLA’s followers then lathi-charged the unarmed members in the yatra and slapped two women activists, broke glass panes of two vehicles, and forcibly seized the camera form an independent filmmaker and beat him up.”

The Congress party has strongly criticised the actions of the BJP MLA. Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sachin Pilot and former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot called it “a new low in the BJP-ruled State where activists were being targeted”.

Video of MLA’s act

On Sunday, a 56-second long video of the attack emerged showing a mob charging towards the activists. The recording shows MLA Meena with a lathi charging towards the activists, beating them and chasing other activists.

However, speaking to The Hindu , the MLA denied any role in the violence. “I heard about the attack and I went to the spot to stop the violence. I am being falsely accused of participating in the violence.”

Jhalawar Superintendent of Police Rajendra Singh said, “An MLA has also been named in the FIR and the investigation is on to find out whether he was involved in the attacks, or not.”

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Ms. Roy and Mr. Dey “condemned the act of violence” and along with Kavita Srivastava of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties met the district authorities over the incident.

The violence took place in the Lok Sabha constituency of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s son Dushyant Singh.

Congress party leaders condemn attack, say a new low in the

BJP-ruled State

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