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Bharuch clashes: Anandiben holds emergency review meet

Workers claim police named BJP leaders in FIR ‘without any basis’

Written by Hiral Devrajbhai Dave | Gandhinagar |
January 20, 2015 3:32:44 am

The aftermath of Hansot clashes has become one of the biggest political challenges for the seven-month-old Anandiben Patel government. While she is under pressure to check the communal tension that claimed three lives in the industrial district of Bharuch, she has been facing rebellion from the local party leaders who resigned en mass, protesting the FIR that allegedly accuses some local BJP leaders from Bharuch.

A day after three BJP MLAs from Bharuch district — Ishwar Patel, Dushyant Patel and Arunsinh Rana huddled themselves with several local leaders, who offered to resign over “police framing BJP leaders”, the Chief Minister held an emergency meeting to review the law and order situation with top home department officials.

The list of accused in one of the 10 FIRs filed at the Hansot police station have the names of Vijay Patel, brother of BJP MLA Ishwar Patel and BJP Bharuch district vice-president Bharat Patel.

“Prominent BJP leaders have been framed in murder and rioting charges. The local police have named them in FIR without any basis,” claimed an MLA. He added, “The local leaders are unhappy as they fear that today they have been framed, tomorrow it can be us. So the party and government must do something about it.”

The group maintained that on Monday their “grievance” was far from addressed and that they were in no mood to give up. Earlier, Bharuch BJP MP Mansukh Vasava had blamed the police for failing to prevent and control the clashes that erupted on the day of the Makar Sankranti festival.

Anandiben is yet to make any statement, both on the clashes and its aftermath.

Meanwhile, while some state and national leaders visited the affected areas, they have so far done little to curb the rebellion.

State leadership, however, maintained that the issue will soon be resolved. “Everything will be sorted out soon,” said Bhikhubhai Dalsania, state general secretary.

This is the first time that party members are expressing unhappiness over the BJP administration.

The matter has so far has only been raised within the party. No BJP leader has come out in open with a reason for their agitation, nor have they made a statement over their protest against any FIR.

According to a source, at the root of communal clashes was alleged illegal business of shrimp cultivation. While a section of the BJP in the recent past made several representations to the Chief Minister to take action, they alleged that the government did not pay any heed.

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