Rajasthan: BJP workers detained after protest march against state government turns violent
The saffron party has accused Ashok Gehlot of mistreating widows of paramilitary personnel who died in the 2019 Pulwama terror attack.
Several workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party were detained in Jaipur on Saturday after their protest against the Rajasthan government for its alleged mistreatment of widows of paramilitary personnel who died in the 2019 Pulwama terror attack turned violent, PTI reported.
The protesters threw stones and broke barricades as they headed towards the residence of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Those held included state party chief Satish Poonia and Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore among others.
Four women – Manju Jat, Madhubala, Sundari Devi and Renu Singh – have been holding protests outside the residence of Congress leader Sachin Pilot’s house in Jaipur since February 28.
They demand a change in rules which would enable their relatives and not just children to get government jobs on compassionate grounds, the installation of statues of the slain CRPF personnel and the construction of roads in their villages.
On March 5, they began an indefinite hunger strike. However, three of them were removed from the protest site by the police on Friday and were shifted to hospitals near their residence, according to PTI.
BJP MPs Kirodi Lal Meena – who has also been sitting in protest with the four women – and Ranjita Koli claimed they were stopped by the police from meeting the widows and were manhandled. The saffron party claims Meena sustained injuries during the clash with the police.
The Rajasthan government claims that the women were being used by the BJP to gain political mileage.
On Saturday, Poonia warned Gehlot of a massive campaign against his government in Rajasthan.
“The BJP will not tolerate this misbehaviour with the widows and BJP MPs by the tyrannical and dictatorial Congress government,” Poonia said. “Today’s protest was against the autocratic Gehlot government of the state.”
Rathore said that the Rajasthan government has turned its back on the widows after making promises.
“Rajasthan will not tolerate the insult of widows of soldiers, and people’s representatives,” he said.
On his part, Gehlot asked whether it would be “appropriate” to give jobs to other relatives of the paramilitary personnel instead of their children.
“What will happen to the children of the martyr when they grow up?” he asked in a tweet. “Is it appropriate to trample on their rights?”
Meanwhile, Pilot said that the issues of the widows should be heard with sensitivity, reported NDTV.
“A message should not go out that we are not ready to listen to the demands of the widows of the martyrs,” he said.