Gandhinagar: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday stoked a controversy when he met a Dalit youth arrested for allegedly murdering a police head constable in Amreli during protests over the thrashing of youths from the community by cow vigilantes.
Mr Kejriwal arrived at the airport in Rajkot this morning and went straight to Rajkot civil hospital, where he met two Dalit victims of the Una thrashing incident and several others who attempted suicide to protest against it.
The AAP national convener also met Kanti Mulji Vala, accused of killing a police constable, who is also being treated at the Rajkot civil hospital.
Mr Vala is one of the accused in the murder of Amreli’s head constable Pankaj Amreliya. The policeman was killed in stone-pelting a couple of days back during the protest by Dalits against the Una incident.
Mr Kejriwal assured the murder accused of “all possible support to fight for justice”.
Mr Vala, however, maintained that he was innocent and had not killed the policeman.
When asked about the reason behind meeting a murder accused, Mr Kejriwal evaded a straight reply and instead said that he will also meet the family members of the deceased policeman in Amreli today.
However, the meeting evoked strong reaction from BJP. The ruling party’s Saurashtra-Kutch spokesperson Raju Dhruv condemned Mr Kejriwal’s meeting with Mr Vala and described the Delhi CM as a person who can do anything for political gains.
“He (Mr Kejriwal) is a person who can do anything for his personal political gains. He deceived Anna Hazare and now tries to defame Gujarat,” Dhruv alleged.
“By meeting the murder accused, Mr Kejriwal has proved that he does not have any concern for Dalits or constable Amreliya who sacrificed his life in the line of duty,” he said.
“Kejriwal believes in cheap politics,” he said.
The AAP chief is on a one-day visit to the state to meet the Dalits who were thrashed for skinning a dead cow and their family members at Mota Samadhiyala village in Una town of Gir Somnath, where the brutal assault took place on July 11.
The incident sparked state-wide protests by Dalit community members which continued for three days leading to arson and loss of public property.