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SMS gripe steps up Baton security
- BJP leader asks schools to boycott welcome, plans black flag protest

Bokaro, Aug. 2: A BJP leader’s text messages asking residents to boycott functions to celebrate the arrival of the Queen’s Baton to the steel city on Thursday has propelled police into planning elaborate security arrangements, including deployment of at least six companies of security forces under the watchful eyes of three deputy superintendents of police.

BJP’s Dharmavir Kumar Singh, said to be close to senior party leaders like Arjun Munda and Sarayu Roy, has sent out SMSs to hundreds of residents saying that spreading the red carpet for the Queen’s Baton was to “humiliate” India’s freedom fighters.

Agar ap kartein hain Queen’s Baton ka swagat aur maan, to hoga Bharat ke shahidon, swatantra veeron aur Bharat Mata ka apman (If you give a warm welcome and honour the Queen’s Baton then you are insulting India’s freedom fighters and martyrs who laid down their lives for country),” read the SMSs.

Dharmavir later told The Telegraph that he would hold a black flag demonstration and stage a dharna near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue to oppose the arrival of the Baton.

More than 20,000 children from over 35 schools of Bokaro, along with thousands of residents, will be taking part in ceremonies to welcome the Queen’s Baton on Thursday once it comes into the steel city via the Telmachho bridge after an overnight halt at Dhanbad.

Not taking any chances, North Chotanagpur IG Manoj Kumar Mishra has asked his colleagues to be alert in the run-up to the event.

Apart from the DSPs and the six companies, about six inspectors and scores of junior officers would be on duty that day.

Reacting to the SMSs, CID IG Anurag Gupta alerted the Bokaro district administration today asking it to keep an eye on local BJP leaders. Bokaro SP Saket Singh also assured residents and school authorities there was no need to panic and that he would ensure that the 22-hour stay of the Baton in Bokaro was trouble free.

Dharmavir also claimed he had written to several schools. “I have written letters to school principals not to send their students to welcome the Queen’s Baton which is a symbol of slavery,” he said,

“I am not opposed to the Commonwealth Games. I only wanted the name of the baton to be changed.” he added.

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