regular-article-logo Sunday, 04 June 2023

Pulwama widows row: BJP leaders court arrest in Rajasthan

While the protesters threw stones and broke barricades, police resorted to lathicharge to disperse them as they moved towards CM Ashok Gehlot's residence

PTI Jaipur Published 11.03.23, 07:59 PM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

Scores of BJP leaders and party workers courted arrest here on Saturday as part of a protest against the Congress government's "insensitivity" towards the widows of Pulwama martyrs and manhandling of BJP MPs Kirori Meena and Ranjita Koli.

Rajasthan Police early Friday removed the widows of the three CRPF jawans killed in the 2019 Pulwama terror attack from the protest site outside Congress leader Sachin Pilot's house here and shifted them to hospitals near their respective residential areas.


Meena and Koli claimed that they were not allowed to meet the widows by policemen who also misbehaved and manhandled them.

The widows have been protesting since February 28 and launched an indefinite hunger strike six days ago, demanding a change in rules so that their relatives and not just children can get government jobs on compassionate grounds.

While the protesters threw stones and broke barricades, police resorted to lathicharge to disperse them as they moved towards Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's residence.

The party held protests in Jaipur and all district headquarters.

In the state capital, the BJP leaders and workers took out a rally from the party headquarters. As some of them broke the barricades and tried to jump over them, they were detained by police and taken different police stations in buses.

A large number of supporters of Meena had also arrived to join the protest from nearby districts of Dausa, Alwar, Jaipur rural, and Sawai Madhopur.

"The BJP will not tolerate this misbehaviour with the widows and BJP MPs by the tyrannical and dictatorial Congress government. Today's protest was against the autocratic Gehlot government of the state," BJP state president Satish Poonia said.

He said the widows and the BJP leaders were insulted by the Congress government and vowed to launch a massive campaign in the state to raise issues bothering the common people.

Poonia said the BJP government at the Centre led by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had introduced packages to support the families of Kargil war martyrs while the Congress is insulting them.

“On one hand, Vajpayee gave strength and respect to families of martyrs and on the other hand the Congress government is insulting these widows,” said Poonia while addressing the protesters.

Rajasthan deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore, who was also detained by police during the protest, said the government has turned its back on the widows after making promises.

"Rajasthan will not tolerate the insult of widows of soldiers, and people's representatives. Today's protest was against the misbehavior with the widows and people's representatives by the police administration," Rathore said.

Reacting to the BJP protest, Congress leader and Rajasthan Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas told reporters, "Kirodi Lal Meena is a senior leader and we all respect him. Rajasthan government is with the families of martyrs. BJP is politicising the issue as they might have got the orders from the top brass." Responding to the demands of the protesting widows, the chief minister on Thursday asked whether it would be “appropriate” to give jobs to other relatives of the martyred jawans instead of their children.

"What will happen to the children of the martyr when they grow up? Is it appropriate to trample upon their rights?” he had said on Twitter.

In an apparent attack on the chief minister, Pilot on Friday said ego should be kept aside to hear the issues of people.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

Follow us on: