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BJP, Congress leaders pay tribute to gangster Anandpal on first death anniversary

BJP and Congress leaders attended an event organised in Barmer on the first death anniversary of gangster Anandpal Singh, a move seen as wooing of the Ravana Rajput community by the parties ahead of assembly elections due in Rajasthan by the year-end.

jaipur Updated: Jun 25, 2018 22:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Gangster Anandpal,Death anniversary
BJP leader Priyanka Choudhary at a ceremony in Barmer on the first death anniversary of gangster Anandpal Singh. (HT Photo)

BJP and Congress leaders attended an event organised in Barmer on the first death anniversary of gangster Anandpal Singh, a move seen as wooing of the Ravana Rajput community by the parties ahead of assembly elections due in Rajasthan by the year-end.

Rajputs continue to be upset with the BJP government over the encounter in which Anandpal was killed, terming it as fake.

The Ravana Rajput community organised blood donation camps at the district headquarters in the state on Sunday. BJP leader and Urban Improvement Trust chairperson Priyanka Choudhary, Barmer Congress MLA Mevaram Jain, and Rajasthan Cricket Association treasurer and Congress leader Azad Singh attended the programme here. The three leaders paid tribute to Anandpal.

A ceremony was also organised in Jaisalmer to pay tribute to Chatar Singh Sodha, who was killed in police firing in 2016. Rajput leader Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi and family members of Anandpal participated in the event.

“A blood donation camp was organised (in Barmer) under the banner of Sarva Samaj; we have appealed to all communities to support this noble cause,” said Surendra Dahiya, a Rajput community member. “The community has not invited any politician.”

Choudhary announced allotment of three bigha land for the construction of a women’s hostel, Dahiya said. “She also assured all possible help to ensure betterment of the community.” Choudhary was not available for her comment.

“Jain assured that if his party forms the government in the state, he will ensure justice to the community,” Dahiya claimed. Jain denied making such a statement. He said the community had invited him for the blood donation camp. “Community members have not given any memorandum to me on their demands. I went there and attended the blood donation camp.”

Dahiya said the community would continue its protests against the BJP government and police atrocities. Rajputs had been angry with the BJP government since Anandpal was shot dead in a police encounter on June 24 last year.

Rajputs demand withdrawal of “false cases” lodged against leaders over violence after the Anandpal encounter at Sanwarad village and a CBI probe into the Chatar Singh killing.

In December last year, the Centre accepted the state government’s request for a CBI probe into the Anandpal encounter death. The gangster’s death had triggered violent protests in the state. The CBI is yet to complete the probe.

“Ravana Rajput community has about 8% vote share in the Barmer parliamentary constituency. The community is aware that parties are approaching them keeping assembly polls in mind. The community will support that party which accepts our demands,” Dahiya said.

First Published: Jun 25, 2018 22:02 IST