Azharuddin to court arrest in support of Joshi
To mark his protest against the arrest of Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, former Indian cricket captain and Congress MP Azharuddin will court arrest in his constituency Moradabad on Friday.india Updated: Jul 17, 2009 10:55 IST
To mark his protest against the arrest of Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, former Indian cricket captain and Congress MP Azharuddin will court arrest in his constituency Moradabad on Friday.
"Azharuddin will lead a protest rally and court arrest after the Friday namaz in Moradabad," said a Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) spokesperson.
Joshi was arrested on Wednesday night in Ghaziabad for allegedly having made derogatory remarks against Chief Minister Mayawati at a public meeting in Moradabad. She was charged under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Just about the same time, her house in Lucknow was attacked and torched by a mob.
On Thursday, the chief judicial magistrate in Moradabad ordered Joshi to be sent to 14 days judicial custody. Her request for bail will be made before the Moradabad additional district judge on Friday.
Hundreds of Congress workers gathered around the Moradabad jail to express solidarity with the UPCC chief.
At a meeting in Moradabad on Wednesday, Joshi had mocked at the state director general of police flying down to Dalit rape victims in recent days and spending huge amounts to distribute compensation of Rs 25,000 to Rs 75,000 to each of them.
She reportedly told the women that they should not only throw the compensation money back at the government's face, but if this was how the rape victims were going to get justice, "tell her (Mayawati) we would give Rs 1 crore" if she faced the same trauma.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was learnt to have been angry with Joshi for having made such a remark. In a meeting with Congress MPs from Uttar Pradesh in New Delhi Thursday, Gandhi described the remark as "completely unacceptable".
Joshi on Thursday clarified, "I had simply sought to draw people's attention to the fact that Mayawati's dole of Rs 25,000 to every Dalit rape victim was quite ironical as the state police chief was spending lakhs on the helicopter ride that he undertakes to hand over that paltry amount."
"My intention was to remind Mayawati that being a woman she should realise that a paltry monetary compensation cannot make up for what a woman loses on account of rape," she told reporters.
"As soon as I found that my statement had been twisted, I promptly made it a point to offer my apologies," Joshi said.
She termed the attack on her house as "state-sponsored terrorism".
Mayawati said Joshi's earlier remarks were "objectionable, reprehensible and highly condemnable".