Immolation against demolition drive: Congress calls for Rajkot bandh today

Even as a few places of the city were on the boil after suicide bid by five members of a family,Chhotunagar Cooperative Housing Society on Raiya Road where the family lived was dead silence with Congress alleging the family took the extreme step under pressure from BJP leaders.

Written by Gopal Kateshiya | Rajkot | Published: April 4, 2013 5:40:40 am

Even as a few places of the city were on the boil after suicide bid by five members of a family,Chhotunagar Cooperative Housing Society on Raiya Road where the family lived was dead silence with Congress alleging the family took the extreme step under pressure from BJP leaders.

As the five were rushed to civil hospital,city unit of Congress held “dadagiri” of BJP responsible for their extreme step and announced a day-long bandh on Thursday in protest.

“There is no way BJP can hear voices of people and due to dadagiri of BJP,the five attempted to take their lives,” city Congress president Jasvansinh Bhatti said.

Soon after,Congress workers were found thronging the RMC office on Dhebar road and civil hospital where the five had been rushed to. The anger was palpable at these two places.

The first reaction came when a mob stopped and set alight a Gujarart State Road Transportation Corporation (GSRTC) bus on Dhebar road,a few hundred metres away from RMC office at 2:40 pm.

A mob also protest outside a high-end hotel where a top officer from Gandhinagar and officials of district administration were reportedly having lunch.

This was followed by mobs clashing with police at the hospital and forcing the authorities to make heavy police deployment there.

However,there was hardly any soul visible in Chotunagar with a lock hanging on the door of Ghanshyam Trivedi,president of the society. The shanty on the common plot near street number 7 of the society in which the Vishwakarmas live wore a ghostly look.

A few women who responded to knocks on their doors said they new nothing about the issue.

“They (Vishwakarmas) had been living there since I came here some 14 years ago. They and the society had some issue over living there,” Pagar Rathod,a shopkeeper said. There was no police deployment in the area till late night.

Meanwhile,Rajkot district collector called a press conference at 8 pm and Municipal Commissioner Ajay Bhadu addressed the media. Bhadu said residents of the society approached RMC to remove encroachment from the common plot six months ago and the civic body had issued the family a notice to vacate the area in August last year.

However,Vishwakarmas filed a suit in local civil court in January this year.

“The court refused to grant them any relief in its verdict on March 23 and we have received the certified copy of the court judgment today. However,we have not taken any demolition action on the plot till date,” Bhadu said.

But Congress alleged the family attempted immolation under pressure from BJP leaders. “They were being threatened by people and BJP-led RMC of action just to clear land of a BJP leader,” Bhatti alleged.

However,Mayor Janak Kotak denied the charge saying RMC had nothing to do with the land and that Congress was trying to give the incident a political hue.

Meanwhile angry mob also reportedly set a car on fire near the civil hospital at around 9 pm.

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