Advertisement

Watch video: UK PM Boris Johnson climbs on bulldozer during visit to JCB plant in Gujarat sparks outrage

Johnson was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel during his visit to the factory of the bulldozer maker.

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Friday, April 22, 2022, 10:44 AM IST

Photo Credit: PTI
Photo Credit: PTI
Advertisement

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson climbed on a bulldozer and waved to the media after opening a new factory of UK-headquartered heavy equipment maker JCB at Halol in Panchmahals district of Gujarat on Thursday.

Johnson was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel during his visit to the factory of the bulldozer maker.

Later, during an inspection of the premises, Johnson suddenly climbed on a bulldozer kept at the factory. He remained seated inside the bulldozer for a few moments and then stood up on the heavy machine and waved at media persons covering his visit to the facility.

The visiting dignitary's act invited a lot of attention and became a talking point on social media platforms as it came in the backdrop of bulldozers being used to demolish "illegal" homes and shops in some parts of the country in the last few days in the wake of communal riots, the latest being in Delhi's Jahangirpuri area which saw clashes during Hanuman Jayanti celebrations.

Hitting out at Johnson for inaugurating the JCB factory in Gujarat a day after municipal corporation in Delhi razed homes using bulldozers, Amnesty India called the move not only ignorant but his silence on the incident "deafening".

Bulldozers tore down several concrete and temporary structures close to a mosque in Jahangirpuri as part of an anti-encroachment drive by BJP-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporatin, days after the northwest Delhi neighbourhood was rocked by communal violence.

Bulldozers were also used recently in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat during demolition drives against 'illegal' structures. Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat recently saw violence during Ram Navami celebrations.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday indicated that he would be raising "difficult issues" when he meets his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday.

The difficult issues being referred to is likely to include the controversial demolition of some properties as part of an "anti-encroachment" drive by the BJP-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) in the Jahangirpuri area of north-west Delhi, days after communal clashes in the locality.

Johnson was responding to questions from the UK media during a visit to a new bulldozer factory in Gujarat's Halol industrial area near Vadodara set up by British multinational JCB.

"We always raise the difficult issues, of course we do, but the fact is that India is a country of 1.35 billion people and it is democratic, it's the world's largest democracy," Johnson was quoted in the 'Guardian' newspaper as saying in response to questions.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Advertisement

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Friday, April 22, 2022, 10:44 AM IST