Monday, Sep 24, 2018 | Last Update : 07:01 PM IST

CM Vasundhara Raje plays on caste factor, withdraws FIRs

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJAY BOHRA
Published : Aug 25, 2018, 1:22 am IST
Updated : Aug 25, 2018, 6:15 am IST

Meanwhile, 254 dalit government employees suspended allegedly for participating in the bandh have been reinstated.

A Gurjar protest in Rajasthan
 A Gurjar protest in Rajasthan

Jaipur: The ruling BJP in Rajasthan is trying to pull out all the stops to return to power in the state. Even if it means appeasement of caste and communities, so be it. It has no hesitation in withdrawing criminal cases against those accused of using violence or unscrupulous means that risked human lives.

The state government has made a move to withdraw 105 cases against businessmen and traders fled under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954. These cases have been filed since 2000. Ironically, food and health departments, which caught adulterated material and filed these cases, have now recommended their withdrawal from the court.

On August 9, the special secretary of home department issued an order saying that the state government has decided to withdraw these cases. The Central government also gave its consent to withdraw the cases.

This is despite the fact that in 2017, the food and health departments collected 14,882 samples of which 3,601 were found adulterated and a chargesheet was filed in 1,596 cases. If convicted, the punishment ranges from six months to life term with a fine of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

Apparently, the BJP government headed by chief minister Vasundhara Raje is trying to pacify traders and small businessmen who acted as its vote bank as well as financial support right from the days of Jan Sangh. What makes this assessment obvious is that the cases have been withdrawn just a couple of months before the Assembly elections. The Vasundhara Raje government has also withdrawn more than 500 cases related to Gurjar reservation agitations in 2007 and 2008; Rajput community’s violent protest against gangster Anandpal Singh’s encounter last year and Bharat Bandh organised by dalits on April 2.

Usually, a party which comes to power withdraws minor cases of blocking traffic or illegal assembly against its workers. But the cases now withdrawn are serious criminal acts like rioting, arson and damage to public property, which carry five years’ imprisonment.

Many people, including policemen, were killed in violence during Gurjar agitations. Railway tracks were uprooted; buses damaged and highways blocked. The police had filed 758 cases of which 236 were withdrawn and 364 cases had already been closed by the police. The Union transport and highway ministry also allowed withdrawal of 11 cases.

Similarly, there were 24 cases against Rajputs for the violence in the aftermath of the encounter of gangster Anandpal Singh, but eight of them were closed and 13 withdrawn. The ministry is also reviewing 300 cases against dalits for violence in Bharat Bandh on April 2.

Meanwhile, 254 dalit government employees suspended allegedly for participating in the bandh have been reinstated.

The Gurjars have already forced cancellation of the second leg of Vasundhara Raje’s ‘Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra’ in Bharatpur division, accusing her government of reneging on an agreement signed with them.

Tags: criminal cases, dalit