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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Police begin inquiry into Jharkhand BJP MP’s ‘derogatory’ remarks against disabled

Disability rights activist Dr Satendra Singh had asked the Election Commission of India to act against Dubey.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2019 21:38 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Dubey had asked people to vote for the BJP’s candidates even if they were “lame” or “blind” in a public address on October 23.
Dubey had asked people to vote for the BJP’s candidates even if they were “lame” or “blind” in a public address on October 23.(HT Photo)
         

Police in Jharkhand’s Jamtara on Sunday initiated a preliminary inquiry into an alleged derogatory remark made by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Godda lawmaker Nishikant Dubey following a directive of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Dubey had asked people to vote for the BJP’s candidates even if they were “lame” or “blind” in a public address on October 23.

“I am appealing to you that whosoever the BJP selects as its candidate, be it lame, blind, thief, dacoit or rogue, we must support the candidate,” Dubey was heard saying in a video of the rally.

The video was provided to HT by Jamtara’s deputy commissioner (DC) Ganesh Kumar.

“We received SDO’s directive for lodging an FIR. We have initiated a preliminary inquiry to ascertain the truth. Based on the outcomes, further action will be taken,” Jamtara police station in-charge Indrajit Pathak said.

However, Dubey said his speech didn’t violate the model code of conduct.

“I talked to the Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on Saturday and he said a report was sought in this regard from Jharkhand’s chief electoral officer (CEO). The Election Commission of India (ECI) just sought a report and didn’t ask to lodge an FIR,” he said.

CEO Vinay Kumar Choubey confirmed that the Jamtara’s DC has been asked for a status report. “The DC found the complaint true and assured to take action accordingly,” Choubey said.

Disability rights activist Dr Satendra Singh had asked the poll body to act against Dubey, officials said.

Jharkhand Viklang Manch president Arun Singh said it was illegal to insult or humiliate a person with a disability in any place within public view. The organisation had burned Dubey’s effigy on Friday.

The BJP lawmaker had also faced backlash last year over pictures and a video of a party worker washing his feet and drinking that water.

Dubey had dismissed the incident and alleged there was no complainant in the case.