Being an accused in an arson case can be a rewarding experience. This was learnt by former city Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Intezar Abidi Husain, an accused in the case pertaining to the burning of a portion of Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s house on July 15.
Husain was appointed chairman of the state’s Lal Bahadur Shastri Ganna Kisan Sansthan (sugarcane growers institute) on Sunday. His appointment, however, was back-dated to July 15, the day Joshi’s house was attacked, said officials sources who didn’t want to be named.
The chairman’s post comes with the rank of a minister of state, a plush office, five or six staffers, a monthly salary of about Rs 30,000 an official car fitted with a red beacon, signifying his VIP status, and security guards.
Till a fortnight ago Husain was BSP Lucknow city chief.
Husain said he had taken charge on July 15 itself, the day hoodlums allegedly led by BSP leaders torched Joshi’s house here. He, however, denied any involvement in the crime. “Why would I lead a gang of vandals to Rita’s house?” he asked HT.
On Friday, the names of Husain and BSP MLA from Bhikapur Jitendra Singh alias Bablu were included in the FIR on the arson at Joshi’s house by police. Witnesses said they had seen Husain and Singh lead a group of vandals who set Joshi’s house and vehicles on fire.
“By appointing Bobby (Husain) as a chairman, the party leadership has rewarded a trusted worker,” a BSP leader said.
Joshi’s house was attacked after she made some derogatory remarks against Mayawati. The Congress leader had said she was prepared to pay the chief minister Rs 1 crore if she was raped. Joshi later withdrew the statement before the media but insisted that the state government’s policy of paying compensation to Dalit rape victims was wrong. v