National

Why not tie Arundhati Roy to an Army jeep, asks Paresh Rawal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2018 Published on May 22, 2017

Author Arundhati Roy & BJP MP Paresh Rawal

In April, a Kashmiri local was tied to an Army jeep as a ‘human shield’ against protestors

BJP MP Paresh Rawal on Monday recommended that author-activist Arundhati Roy be tied to an Army jeep instead of a stone pelter, a reference to a widely-condemned incident in Kashmir where a local resident was used as a “human shield” by security personnel against a mob.

“Instead of tying stone pelter on the army jeep tie Arundhati Roy (sic)!” the actor-politician tweeted, taking a swipe at the author who has been a trenchant critic of the BJP and Army action in the Valley.

Undeterred by the condemnation that he drew from many users on the social media platform, Rawal seemed to be revelling in his suggestions. When a supporter suggested that instead of the Booker Prize-winning author, a woman journalist should be treated in a similar manner, Rawal further said: “We have a wide variety of choices!”

Rawal’s tweet came against the backdrop of an Army officer’s decision to tie an alleged stone pelter to a jeep’s bonnet as a “human shield” against violent protesters, who were trying to disrupt the bypolls to the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency last month. It was done, according to security officials, to prevent stone pelters from targeting soldiers. The Army had ordered a court of inquiry into the incident.

Union Minister Smriti Irani, however, sought to distance the party from Rawal’s tweet, saying “I have not seen this particular tweet by a BJP MP. But I can assure you as a female member of the BJP, but also on behalf of the male members who are on the dais with me here that in no way do we support any kind of violence towards any individual in the country.”

Rawal had a number of supporters on the social media who lapped up his tweet, asserting that Roy was an “anti-national”.

However, there were others, like film-maker Rakesh Sharma who said, “shame on you” and others who said the MP’s remarks constituted an incitement to violence and that he should be prosecuted. Congress General Secretary Digivijay Singh hit out at the BJP, asking, “Why not (tie) the person who stitched the PDP-BJP alliance?”

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Published on May 22, 2017
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