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Rajputs to hold Aakrosh Rally in Rajasthan’s Barmer today against Raje govt

The latest resentment was triggered by the arrest of eight people for showing black flags during Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s public meeting in Barmer. Four of the arrested were Rajputs.

rajasthan elections 2018 Updated: Sep 12, 2018 01:16 IST
Rajput,Aakrosh Rally,Barmer
Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s attempts to woo the Rajput community haven’t yielded any significant results.(PTI)

The Rajasthan Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s efforts to mollify the Rajput community are not yielding desired results. Rather than bringing the Rajputs into the BJP fold, the efforts seem to be making the community even more resentful. The most recent reason for friction was the security arrangements during chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s ‘Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra’ in Barmer.

Praveen Singh Aagore, a Rajput leader, said the community will organise an ‘Aakrosh Rally’ on Wednesday and protest the government’s anti-people policies. “We will protest in a peaceful manner. We will have no option but to adopt violence if we don’t get justice and the government will responsible for it,” warned Aagore.

Eight persons, including four Rajputs, were arrested on September 1 for showing black flags during Raje’s public meeting in Barmer. The Rajput community claimed that initially these people were arrested under section 151 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC ) — knowingly joining or continuing in any assembly of five or more persons likely to cause a disturbance of public peace — but were later arrested under other sections.

Aagore said that after the arrests, the eight were produced before a local magistrate who granted them bail. However, the next day they were arrested again under sections such as 332 (voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty) and 143 (member of an unlawful assembly).

“The youth were protesting in a democratic manner by showing black flags. They neither stopped nor assaulted any public servant. Raje’s meeting in Barmer was a political meeting and not a government programme. How can the police arrest people for deterring public servants from discharging duty,” said Aagore.

He alleged that these youths were arrested only because during the last general election differences had emerged with the BJP when veteran leader Jaswant Singh contested as an independent from Barmer. “Since the Rajputs have been ignored, they were left with no option but to protest the government’s anti-people policies,” Aagore said.

Another Rajput leader, Swaroop Singh Rathore, whose expulsion from BJP was recently revoked, said that this is the first time he has seen when people who have protested at a political meeting have been arrested under such sections. “Earlier, when such things happened, people were detained for some time and later released. It seems that government is trying to suppress the protest,” said Rathore.

Reacting on the issue, Aaduram Meghwal, former district president of BJP and convener of ‘Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra’ in Barmer, said police have taken action against those who have taken the law into their hands.

“The government and the party have nothing to do with this matter. I am shocked how some people are connecting an unlawful activity with a particular caste. Those who want to protest can do so bit in a peaceful manner. There is nothing wrong in taking action against those who are disturbing the law and order situation and taking the law into their hands,” he said.

Another reason for worry for the BJP is the Swabhiman Sammelan called by its own legislator, Manvendra Singh, on September 22. The event is being seen as an effort by Singh, son of former external affairs minister and BJP veteran Jaswant Singh, to show his strength among the Rajputs.

On many occasions, the government has tried to pacify the annoyed Rajputs but had not succeeded.

Ahead of Raje’s statewide meetings, several Rajput leaders, including Rajendra Rathore, Rao Rajendra Singh, Bhawani Singh Rajawat, Rajpal Singh Shekhawat and MLA Babu Singh Rathore were sent to Barmer to pacify the Rajputs, who had decided to boycott the chief minister’s meeting. However, the leaders failed to woo the Rajputs.

Later, the ruling party had also cancelled the expulsion of two Rajput leaders, Swaroop Singh Rathore (former state minister of BJP) and Girdhar Singh Kotdi (former mandal president of Sheo block in Barmer), who had been expelled after they joined Jaswant’s group in the last election. This step was considered as a damage control exercise by the BJP, which, too, has failed.

First Published: Sep 12, 2018 01:16 IST