Congress condemns ‘attack’ on Yashpal Arya, holds state-wide protests
A day after senior Congress leader Yashpal Arya and his son Sanjeev Arya were allegedly attacked in Bazpur town of US Nagar district, Congress party on Sunday held a state-wide protest against the incident which they termed a “conspiracy” by the ruling BJP.
Arya, who was a cabinet minister in the present BJP government, joined Congress along with his MLA son about a month ago. Considered a Dalit stalwart in the state, Arya was allegedly attacked by a few people with batons and sticks while he was going to attend an event in his assembly constituency of Bazpur.
On Sunday, senior Congress leaders, including former chief minister and party national general secretary Harish Rawat and party state president Ganesh Godiyal, met Arya and his son at their residence in Haldwani. During their visit, they spoke to CM Pushkar Singh Dhami, director-general of police Ashok Kumar and home security Anand Vardhan over the phone demanding action against the accused involved in the incident.
Rawat alleged, “Deadly attack on Yashpal Arya and Sanjeev Arya is a conspiracy of BJP government. The removal of Yashpal Arya’s security, a deadly attack just 40 meters away from the police station, makes it clear that the BJP government, police, administration are all involved in this.”
Demanding action, Rawat said, “The attackers of Arya should be arrested as soon as possible and those behind the conspiracy should be exposed with no delay.” He also raised a question on the police for “failing to nab the criminals.”
“The police officers who are unable to crack down on criminals have no right to stay in the district. This was not an attack on Arya but democracy,” said Rawat warning of “fierce agitation in the state against the government if no action is taken by Sunday evening.”
Party state president Godiyal too condemned the attack and said, “Arya is a leader of all sections of society and not just a specific one. If such a heinous attack can happen against him, then what will happen to the security of the general public?”
Godiyal alleged, “The ideology of BJP at Centre is of violence and now the state government is also working on the same lines. The attack on Arya shows the sick mentality of the BJP against the oppressed section of our society.”
He also accused the BJP led state government of “increasing the crime graph in the state.” “Congress will not allow that to happen. We will hold protests against the lax law and order situation in the state,” said Godiyal.
Earlier on Saturday, Arya and his son accused local BJP leader Kulwinder Singh Kinda and his supporters of the attack which the latter refuted and instead accused him of “misbehaviour.”
Amid the protests on Sunday, party senior leaders, including state unit in-charge Devendra Yadav, leader of Opposition Pritam Singh, Rawat and Godiyal held a sit-in near the CM House in Dehradun demanding “stringent action” by the government.
Accusing the BJP of a conspiracy behind the incident, Singh accused it of “resorting to despicable tactics due to fear of loss in upcoming assembly polls.”
“This attack on Arya is highly condemnable. It clearly shows that BJP is afraid of losing the upcoming elections due to which it is now resorting to violence in an attempt to intimidate our leaders. We will not remain silent and raise our voice against such despicable tactics,” said Singh.
The state BJP however, refuted the allegations of the Congress.