NaMos new headache assault probe against Maneka Gandhi

Lucknow: A probe has been launched by Uttar Pradesh Police on the complaint of a forest employee, the gateman at Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, against Union minister for Child and Women welfare Maneka Gandhi for physical and verbal assault.

One Rooplal Verma, the gateman in the reserve in Garha forests of Pilibhit district, about 300 km from the state capital of Lucknow, had lodged a written complaint that Gandhi slapped him while on a visit to her parliamentary constituency of Pilibhit last Sunday.

Confirming the receipt of the application, the district police chief of Pilibhit, J K Sahi, said an enquiry had been launched and the decision of filing the First Information Report (FIR) would be taken after the investigation took place.

Meanwhile, the forest department in Uttar Pradesh was also investigating into the matter, though in a hush-hush manner. A senior official, on the condition of anonymity, told NewsMobile that the department did not want to take the issue too far as it involved a Central minister.

The issue occurred during Gandhi’s visit when she asked the complainant about a small fire in forest area. It is alleged that she was not satisfied with the reply and assaulted him.

The staff accompanying her though categorically denied the allegation and said it was a simple query from the minister and it was wrong that she slapped anyone.

On the other hand, the political parties like Congress have demanded impartial investigation into this.

“Not only the law but moral propriety is also involved in this because the person in contention is a senior Union minister,” Amarnath Agarwal, Congress spokesman of UP Congress Committee (UPCC) said.

A senior Samajwadi Party leader, however, downplayed the issue saying let the district police probe the complaint.

“Let us wait for the investigation before jumping to any conclusion,” he added.

The Bhartiya  Janata Party also says the matter has been blown out of proportion.  

“The personal staff of the minister has already made it clear and the issue should be ended here,” the state BJP spokesman Vujay Bahadur Pathak said.


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