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NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeted the BJP government for virtually giving a free hand to fringe groups protesting the release of the movie ‘Padmaavat’, alleging that the saffron party’s use of “hatred and violence” is setting the country on fire.
Rahul’s strong remarks came in the wake of a violent mob attacking a bus carrying school children in BJP-ruled Haryana’s Gurugram, on the eve of the controversial film’s release.
“There will never be a cause big enough to justify violence against children. Violence and hatred are the weapons of the weak. The BJP’s use of hatred and violence is setting our entire country on fire,” Rahul tweeted Wednesday night.
There will never be a cause big enough to justify violence against children. Violence and hatred are the weapons of… https://t.co/q0bsaLMwMj
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG)
The Congress also slammed the ruling BJP over its “failure” to maintain law and order in Haryana and other states, where agitators took to the streets and committed arson and vandalism with seeming impunity.
“Unacceptable, reprehensible and devastating as vandals attack school bus and Haryana Roadways bus in Gurgaon endangering the lives of innocent children and passengers. Terrified children cry inconsolably and anarchy prevails. Khattar government fails again miserably in upholding law and order (sic),” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.
Unacceptable, reprehensible & devastating as vandals attack School bus & Haryana Roadways bus in Gurgaon endangerin… https://t.co/UpiiJDSlgr
— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala)
Around 20-25 students of a leading Gurugram school had a narrow escape when a frenzied mob attacked their bus, a day ahead of Padmaavat’s scheduled release in theatres.
The students were on their way home when a group of around 60 protesters, believed to be members of a fringe group, attacked their bus with bamboo sticks asking the driver to stop the vehicle. The miscreants also pelted the bus with stones.
Violent protestors also torched a bus in Sohna, where they pelted a fire tender with stones and forced it back when it came to douse the fire, local officials said.
Despite prohibitory orders in Gurgaon, hundreds of Rajput Karni Sena supporters protested at the Kherki Daula toll plaza on the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway.
Violence spread to towns and cities in many states including Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, as fringe groups opposing the release of ‘Padmaavat’ remained defiant and demanded the movie be banned.
(With PTI inputs)