Political storm in Rajasthan after saint attempts self-immolation over illegal mining

The priest set himself on fire on Wednesday to protest against illegal mining in the Pasopa village of Rajasthan's Bharatpur district.

IANSUpdated: Thursday, July 21, 2022, 11:47 AM IST
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FPJ

Politics has intensified in Rajasthan after the self-immolation bid by a saint in Bharatpur district.

The priest set himself on fire on Wednesday to protest against illegal mining in the Pasopa village of Rajasthan's Bharatpur district.

BJP slams Congress government

The BJP accused the Gehlot government of handling the issue "casually". BJP State President Satish Poonia said, "For the last 551 days, the movement of Sadhu Samaj continued in the Kaman area of Braj regarding illegal mining. However, illegal mining did not stop even after the agitation and government intervention. The result of not finding a solution has come in the form of self-immolation of the monk."

Poonia said, "Vijaydas ji had to self-immolate himself. This shows callousness of the Rajasthan government, which allowed mining despite the ban on illegal mining from January 27, 2005."

"This entire area comes under Braj Chaurasi, which is a big centre of religious faith. This incident exposes the law and order situation in the state. The government is careless, and this shows its peak. On Wednesday, another sadhu also climbed the tower and he was counselled too," said Poonia.

Satish Poonia reached the SMS Hospital on Wednesday night and inquired about the health of Sant Vijaydas and asked the doctors for better treatment. Poonia was accompanied by the party's state General Secretary Bhajan Lal Sharma, Bharatpur District Chief Jagat Singh, Jaipur Greater Mayor Soumya Gurjar and other BJP leaders.

Former CM Vasundhara Raje said that after Udaipur, the gross negligence of the Gehlot government has also come to the fore in the Kaman area of Braj.

"The state government did not pay heed to the demands of the saints to stop illegal mining here. The attempt of self-immolation by a saint is the result of this negligence. What an irony, even after the ban, illegal mining is happening and the sages and saints have to raise their voices. If the state government had taken this subject seriously, this situation would not have happened today. The Gehlot government of the state is solely responsible for this," she added.

CM Ashok Gehlot calls for review meeting

Meanwhile, soon after the incident of self-immolation of the sadhu, CM Gehlot called a review meeting and asked to run a joint operation against the illegal mining mafia. CM Ashok Gehlot directed the SPs of the districts to take strict action without any pressure on the mining mafia.

He said, "For this, take joint action with Mines, Police, Transport and Administration Coordination. Police should establish their faith by following the law, so that fear is created among the illegal miners. Make a list of all mining mafia and take action with planning. The mining lease holders should not face any problem and the illegal miners should not be spared. Call a meeting under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to stop illegal mining in future.

"Take action against illegal mining business and transporters," he ordered, and also said, "Those who do illegal mining business should be punished more than those who transport illegal mining."

He also instructed ACS Mines to revise and increase the fine amount on vehicles caught in illegal activities. In the meeting, Forest Minister Hemaram Chaudhary said that the police administration should take such action that there is no movement of vehicles in the area for illegal mining.

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