Activist Aruna Roy wrote to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Friday, in connection with the January 16 attack on the Jawabdehi Yatra planned by the Soochana Evam Rozgaar Adhikar Ahiyan, an offshoot organisation of Roy’s Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan. In her letter, she said MLA Kanwar Lal Meena and his henchmen lathi-charged people participating in the yatra in the state’s Jhalawar district in a planned attack, while policemen stood by watching. She added that they have a 56-second-long video to prove it.
The yatra was organised to raise awareness, increase people’s participation in governance, and support disadvantaged and marginalised people in society. Questioning the motive behind the attack, Roy said if it was an objection to the right of democratic expression or assembly, it had serious “implications for the district and the state”. She demanded that action be taken against the MLA and the police who took no action.
Though the police have arrested 11 people in connection with the attack, no action has been taken against Meena. She said they were told only the Crime Branch of the Central Investigation Department can act on FIRs lodged against an MLA, in accordance with an executive order. “How can the government talk about transparency, accountability and sensitivity if it provides impunity and protection to elected members…?” the activist said. As the incident took place in the chief minister’s home district, Roy also sought an appointment with Raje.