Aruna rally under attack

BJP MLA named in FIR

  • Published 17.01.16

Jaipur, Jan. 16: A rally flagged off by social activist Aruna Roy was attacked today in Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje's constituency by suspected BJP activists, led by an MLA. At least six rallyists were injured.

An FIR has been filed against the MLA and others.

Aruna Roy

The Aklera police station assistant SHO, Manmohan Bairwa, said: "The FIR has been lodged against the present MLA of Aklera and 30-35 unidentified people.... No arrests have been made yet."

BJP's Kunwar Meena is the MLA from Aklera.

The incident took place near Aklera police post in Jhalawar, 330km from Jaipur, around 5.30pm when the rally was winding up after songs, street plays and short speeches.

"At least three men with lathis first attacked us," said Shankar Singh, one of the injured. Cameras were broken and windshields of two jeeps smashed. Two rallyists were dragged and hit.

But since the rally did not stop, they were attacked again, this time by a big group allegedly led by the MLA. The rallyists fought back. Later the police intervened and took all of them to the police station.

The smashed windshield of a jeep

Aruna Roy, on her way to Jhalawar, told The Telegraph : "It seemed to be a planned attack since the jawabdehi yatra wants answers against non-compliance of orders, against corruption, grievances and demands accountability from those governing. What we have heard is that the attackers wanted to teach us a lesson."

Aruna added: "Despite the attacks the yatra would go on. In 2008, too, our men were attacked when they doing a social audit in Jhalawar and it took place simultaneously at four-five places. There were FIRs lodged then but nothing much came of it."

The 100-day yatra, which kicked off on December 2 from Jaipur, is to cover more than 100 blocks in all 33 districts. In every district, the activists will spend three days to register grievances, hold street-corner meetings and plays to spread awareness about rights and organise a jawabdehi mela at the district headquarters.

Social activists, workers, tribals, Dalits, painters, folk singers, theatre artistes and students are part of the yatra.

Aruna said: "Since this is the chief minister's constituency, we expect a little more discipline and co-operation.... But this attack was led by a BJP man, cannot say whether the decision to attack was taken at his own level or higher up."