Monday, January 18, 2016

Rajasthan BJP MLA "slapped me on my right-jaw when I asked why he was hitting us": Woman RTI activist

Atul, Radhika Ganesh, Anurag Singh and Mujeeb following the attack
By Our Representative
“BJP MLA slapped me when I asked him to stop attacking”, a social activist participating in the Soochna Evum Rozgar Adhikaar Abhiyaan, a Right to Information (RTI) and Employment campaign organization, which encompasses about 150 different organizations across Rajasthan. The incident, reported by Couterview, took place on Saturday evening.
Accusing Kanwar Lal Meena of also hitting her when she tried to stop his men from attacking her colleagues, activist Radhikar Ganesh said, “We were begging the police to help us, they were at least 5-6 of them standing there, but they did not help us”, adding, a woman in the crowd told her, “The MLA himself is hitting you, the policemen won’t do anything, go from here.”
The incident took place in Aklera town in Jhalawar district as part of the state-wide yatra, spearheaded by the Mazdoor Kisaan Shakti Sanghatan (MKSS). Of the 63 activists, 12 including, some women were, were grievously injured. Jhalawar is Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s home district and her constituency Jhalraptan is in the same district.
In her eyewitness account released by a prominent news site, Ganesh said, the incident took place when one of the campaigners, Shankar Singh, founder of MKSS, started doing a puppet show and explaining what the campaign was about.
“All of a sudden, three young men with lathis came charging towards us”, she said, giving a graphic picture how they pushed and hit them. One of them attacked Anurag Singh, an independent documentary filmmaker who was shooting and documenting the whole yatra.
As a constable standing nearby refused any help, Shankar Singh announced end of the programme. “We started walking towards the exit, where our bus was standing. Within 5 minutes of the first attack, about 45-50 men armed with lathis came charging at us from two different directions”, said Ganesh.
The man in a brown jacket and orange shirt – who was identified as the MLA later – first hit Shankar Singh. Other men thrashed the jeep and mike systems. “Everybody was getting hit. All our volunteers were getting dragged and hit with our own placards”, she said.
Immediately thereafter, she said, “I went to the MLA and started screaming at him asking why he was hitting us. He slapped me on my right-jaw. He ran towards Anurag, who was holding the camera… Anurag started running and found a police jeep parked. He tried to enter it asking for help, the constable pushed him out and locked the jeep.”
“A mob of about 20-25 men started running towards Anurag. Now everyone went behind Anurag, so the mob left us. I saw a bunch of them taking Anurag’s camera away. I looked at the policemen near us and asked them to get the camera, but they did not respond”, Ganesh said, adding, they found him in the “gully”, so “we picked him and brought him out.”A mobile video footage of the incident
Things did not end till one of the activists called Nikhil Dey, senior member of the MKSS, who “immediately called the chief minister’s office and the DGP in Jaipur”, and “30 minutes later a deputy SP came to the spot”, she said, adding, this was folled by the visit of the district collector and SP.
After the activists told them what all had happened, Ganesh said, the Collector called the MLA asked the MLA for the camera. “About three hours later, a young boy walked in with Anurag’s camera. The camera was broken. The tape was taken out and jammed shut with Feviquick”, she said.
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Click HERE to read complete personal accout by Radhika Ganesh

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