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Published in the 16-30 June 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Bajrang goons on the rampage

The Milli Gazette Online 

Mangalore: In a shocking incident, activists of Bajrang Dal stopped a tourist bus from Mangalore on its way on an excursion to Mysore and stoned it around 10-30 pm on 4 June. The incident occurred within the city limits, near the Pumpwell circle.

The excuse was that the management and staff of Saree Palace on KS Rao Road in the city were headed for Mysore by engaging a bus, and the owners being from a minority community, the Bajrang Dal did not want the majority community staff members to travel with them. 

A group of 35 Bajrang Dal musclemen stopped the bus and went on a rampage. There were about 45 passengers. Fourteen were injured in the senseless attack. The injured were admitted to the Unity Hospital. They have been identified as Vanita, Mamata, Vimala Shetty, Shalini, Anasuya, Ratna, Lata, Dolly, Sahira, Azima, Rajesh, Dayananda, Mohamed Sharif and Ismail. The last two victims have received serious injuries.

The Sharada bus has been heavily damaged in the stoning. The passengers were hit with iron rods and wooden clubs on head, arms and legs. The miscreants also looted seven gold chains among other things.

'Namma Kudla' TV channel's videographer Melvyn Fernandes, who reached the spot on hearing the news and started videographing the incident, had his camera snatched. He was also stabbed with knives and has been admitted to a hospital. Besides, his camera, a gold chain and Rs 1,000 in cash have been looted from his person. 

The identity of the persons involved is not known as they fled the place soon after the attack and loot.

The incident has sent shivers down the spine of citizens. The very fact that an incident of this magnitude has taken place in the middle of the city has created an outrage in the minds of the people. A senior citizen recalled an old saying: "When God wants to destroy some people, He first turns them mad." Nothing could have put it more succinctly.(

Three days later (7 June) another Parivar fraternity, ABVP goons ransacked Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan during a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) which chalked out a time-frame to bring revised text books for the next academic session. The goons ransacked the high security conference hall. They were expressing their anger over the de-saffronisation of the textbooks by the new HRD Minister Arjun Singh.

The ABVP elements had stormed the conference centre, smashed glasspanes, flower pots and shouted slogans against Arjun Singh in protest against the new National Curriculum Framework.

It was for the first time that the high security venue’s security was breached. Police arrived at the scene 15 minutes after the protests began and rounded up 56 activists.

Education ministers of BJP-ruled states, in a replay of last year, staged a walkout from the meeting. Next day a Delhi court rejected the bail plea and remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days. Rejecting their bail plea, Metropolitan Magistrate Siddharth Sharma said "in a democratic country like ours, these kinds of fanatic acts cannot be permitted".

From the very next day again VHP and Bajrang Dal are on the streets protesting against Advani in the wake of his statements in Pakistan on Babri and Jinnah. On June 8 they burnt Advani’s effigy and beat up a BJP activist in Indore for burning their leader Praveen Togadia’s effigy at the Rajwada in the morning. Togadia had called Advani a “traitor”. Bajrang Dal activists threatened BJP workers, saying any “disrespect” to “Hindu leaders” like Togadia would result in similar treatment.

On 9 June Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena activists held a rally in Allahabad where effigies of Advani were burnt and BJP elements attacked. VHP-Bajrang onslaught on the party and leader who bestowed respectability on them and protected them so far continues unabated as we go to press.  «

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