2 Corporators Thrashed, Clothes Torn During Meerut Municipal Meet

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2 Corporators Thrashed, Clothes Torn During Meerut Municipal Meet

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has attacked the BJP over its “arrogance of power”.

Meerut:

At least two members of the opposition were allegedly thrashed – and one of them had part of their clothing torn off – by BJP members after an argument at a meeting of the Meerut Municipal Corporation on Saturday. The assault allegedly began after one of the BJP men, a Member of the Legislative Council, was pushed by a member of the opposition parties. 

This is the second such clash in less than a week and while the previous incident in Shamli saw punches and kicks flying within the confines of a room, the one on Saturday had the politicians coming out on the road and continuing the assault, ignoring police personnel who were trying to intervene. 

The opposition has alleged that two of their corporators, both of whom are Dalit, were assaulted by members of the BJP, including the MLC and an Uttar Pradesh minister. The two corporators were from the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav has claimed that the arrogance of power was behind BJP members beating up opposition members and that the ruling party is getting violent because it can sense a loss in the upcoming elections. A police complaint has also been filed against members of the BJP, including UP Minister of State for Energy Somendra Tomar and MLC Dharmendra Bhardwaj.

Mr Tomar and Mr Bhardwaj have rubbished the allegations and claimed that the opposition members used indecent language against a woman corporator, leading to the altercation. 

Flare-Up

A board meeting of the corporation was being held to discuss the budget and other issues in the presence of most of the corporators and Mayor Harikant Ahluwalia. Minister Tomar and MLC Bhardwaj also attended the meeting. 

Sources said BJP corporator Rekha Singh, while discussing the collection of house tax, made some comments about a particular community and some Muslim and Dalit corporators from the opposition objected. This led to a shouting match and Mr Bhardwaj stepped in to intervene, when he was allegedly pushed by a member of an opposition party. 

The BJP, however, has claimed that the cause of the altercation was the use of indecent language against women corporators by some opposition members. 

After Mr Bhardwaj was pushed, corporators from the BJP and their supporters got angry and attacked their opposition colleagues, resorting to punching and kicking them. Two opposition corporators who bore the brunt of the attack were Kuldeep alias Kirti Ghopla of the SP, and BSP corporator Ashish Kumar.

The police intervened and tried to control the situation but the thrashing continued. When some policemen finally extracted the two opposition members and took them out on the road, some BJP corporators and supporters followed and continued to assault them outside. Videos also show MLC Bhardwaj slapping corporator Kirti Ghopla.

Mr Ghopla’s vest was shredded by the end of the assault, after which the police managed to take him and Mr Kumar to the Delhi Gate police station nearby.

The opposition corporators have filed a police complaint alleging that they were assaulted and disrespectful speech regarding their caste was used. The MLC and Minister Tomar are named in the complaint. SP MLA Atul Pradhan also reached the police station later.

‘Will Get Their Answer’

In a post in Hindi, Akhilesh Yadav said the BJP will pay electorally for the objectionable treatment meted out to Dalits.

“During the Municipal Corporation Board meeting in Meerut, a minister of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh and an MLC carried out a dangerous attack on Dalit corporators from the opposition in the presence of the police. The BJP is going to get its answer in the upcoming elections for the humiliating treatment that Dalits are being subjected to because of its arrogance of being in power. The BJP has turned violent out of frustration over its impending defeat,” Mr Yadav said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Denying the allegations, Minister Tomar said, “The opposition seems to have forgotten that this is (Chief Minister) Yogi Adityanath’s government. The mayor is trying to take everyone along. What happened today is saddening, and strict action will be taken as per the rules.”

When he was asked why security arrangements were not made despite such incidents occurring in the past, Mr Tomar said, “An example will be set… action will be taken as per the rules.”

MLC Bhardwaj said, “I was invited by the mayor. When I entered the meeting room, I saw opposition corporators in an altercation with people from my party. Indecent language was used against two women corporators and, when I stepped in to stop that, they tried to push me. This led to an altercation.”

“Opposition corporators from the SP, AIMIM and other opposition parties were egging them on. Under the Yogi Adityanath and Narendra Modi governments, an insult to women will not be tolerated,” he said.

Mayor Ahluwalia also alleged that women corporators were disrespected and said that appropriate action will be taken.

Shamli Clash

Earlier this week, a meeting of the municipal council in Shamli had devolved into a WWE-style clash, with members punching and kicking each other and using tables to defend themselves. One member had even attempted to jump on and another after climbing onto a chair. 

Municipal Chairman Arvind Sangal and MLA Prasann Chaudhary were present at the meeting.



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