JAIPUR (RAJASTHAN): The ghastly beheading of tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur by Islamic extremists over a social-media post has sent shockwaves across India. The National Investigative Agency (NIA) has arrested seven people during the course of the investigation.
Almost two weeks after the incident, The New Indian spoke to three veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs – Kalicharan Saraf, Anita Bhadel, and Arjun Lal Jingar – to get a sense of the situation on the ground and their take on the controversy surrounding the victim family’s claim that the Ashok Gehlot government did not provide him security despite several pleas and the alleged association of one of the killers with the saffron party. Here is what the BJP leaders have to say:
Kalicharan Saraf (former health minister and MLA from Jaipur’s Malviya Nagar): The chilling murder of Kanhaiya Lal was meticulously planned to scare Hindus across India. The objective of the killers was to send a message to Hindus to stay within their limits. They were certainly emboldened by the minority appeasement policy of CM Gehlot.
Those who did recce planned the murder and executed it were different individuals working as a unit. How did it go unnoticed? Why were the police twiddling their thumbs? He was even arrested when he filed a complaint. No security was provided to the hapless man. The CM is also handling the home department. The police always work at the behest of the government. They (police) favour the policies of whoever is in power. While police were being negligent, the government of the day was busy appeasing the minority community.
Anita Bhadel (former minister and MLA from Ajmer South): I am deeply disturbed by the conduct of CM Gehlot in the wake of this horrific killing. Instead of owning up to the responsibility and apologizing to the people of the state, he is busy taking digs at the Narendra Modi government. This is thoroughly unbecoming of the person of his post. He has turned out to be a terrible administrator. Under his watch, so many communal incidents have happened in the state. Before Udaipur, there were communal tensions in Karauli, Sawai Madhopur, and Alwar as well. People in the state are feeling very unsafe under his rule.
In the 2013 assembly elections, the BJP created history by winning 180 seats. In the next assembly polls, which are slated to take place next year, we will bag almost 180 seats. I know you (referring to the reporter) are chuckling at my prediction but it will come true. I appeal to people to maintain calm and patience right now.
Arjun Lal Jingar (four-time MLA, Kapasan): The law and order situation in the state has become abysmal. The criminals are running amok without any fear. After Kanhaiya Lal’s murder, another incident took place in my village, which is near Udaipur, where a few inebriated goons stopped a Hindi boy and threatened him with dire consequences. When the news reached me, I immediately helped the boy to file the complaint and also provided him with protection. Those who threatened him were arrested and are now out on bail.
My region (Mewar) is throbbing with communal tension because CM Gehlot is hell-bent on appeasing a particular community. As a leader, he should be fair and impartial. His policy is driving a wedge between communities in different parts of the state. The people are seething with rage. He’s the CM of not a particular community, but of all the people. Our workers on the ground are trying to pacify the public and restore peace.