BJP leader Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, who drew criticism for publicly humiliating an IPS officer Charu Nigam, will stage a sit-in protest on Wednesday in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur to demand the closure of all unlicensed liquor shops in the city - an act the policewoman said was “nothing more than a publicity stunt”.
Agarwal, an MLA from Gorakhpur Sadar, asked the Indian Police Service officer not to “cross limits” after police attempted to remove anti-liquor protesters in his constituency, also the base of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, on Sunday. The MLA’s alleged abrasive behaviour had left the police officer teary eyed, although she later said it should not be seen as a sign of weakness.
- Woman IPS office Charu Nigam who took to social media to counter Radha Mohan Das Aggarwal on Wednesday told HT that dharna staged by MLA was a publicity stunt. “I think he is resorting to such tactics to gain publicity,” said Charu .
- When asked to respond on MLA’s allegation that posting on social media to put forth her stand was violation of government service rules she said, “Service guidelines don’t curtail my freedom of expression.”
“I think he is resorting to such tactics to gain publicity. I have nothing more to comment on it,” Nigam, who took to social media to counter Agarwal’s allegations of police brutality, told the Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
Agarwal said people, who have an objection to the sale of liquor in their locality, have been asked to come to the protest site and hand over the memorandums signed by people of their areas to him. He will protest beneath the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Town Hall in the city from 10am to 4pm.
“Every second day people launch a movement against liquor in their locality. As a public representative, I am forced to join their movement and raise their voice. Since attending every movement is not possible every day, I have decided to receive liquor complain collectively from people,” the MLA said.
“These complaints will be handed over to the DM with an instruction to carry out a probe of all such liquor shops under UP liquor act. The next course of action will be decided on the basis of support we receive from people,” he added, saying Mahatma Gandhi was against liquor and that’s why he chose his statue to hold the dharna.
Agarwal, popularly called RMD, accused the police of providing patronage to liquor mafioso across the city during a press conference on Monday. Earlier, he had accused the police of kicking a pregnant woman in her abdomen, assaulting an elderly woman and pushing a minor into a pit, a charge denied by Nigam.
The 5-month pregnant woman Seema, 8-year-old Prince and 70-year-old Phoola Devi were present during the press conference and backed the four-term MLA’s allegations of police brutality against anti-liquor protesters.
Agarwal also requested the media not to hype his protest as a conflict between him and the government when asked about the reason behind his action when his own party was in power. He added that as a public representative it was his duty to raise the voice of people.
Nigam on Tuesday posted a fresh message on her Facebook wall, questioning the allegations levelled against her by Agarwal. Nigam, the circle officer at the Gorakhnath police station, claimed that no incident of such brutality would have gone unnoticed by the media.
Agarwal termed Nigam’s act of expressing outrage through the social media as a serious violation of service guidelines laid down by the government. “Service guidelines don’t curtail my freedom of expression,” Nigam said when asked to respond the MLA’s allegations.