JAIPUR: The Rajasthan police arrested BJP MP Kirori Lal Meena on Sunday after he hoisted a tribal white-coloured flag despite prohibitory orders at the Amagarh Fort in Jaipur. Police said that Meena has been arrested for disturbing the peace in the area.
Dodging the heavy deployment of police around the fort, Kirodi Lal Meena managed to sneak inside the Amagarh Fort with his supporters and hoisted the flag on Sunday morning. A little later, the Jaipur police took corrective steps and detained the Rajya Sabha MP.
Despite heavy police deployment in and around the fort, Kirodi Lal Meena and his supporters managed to enter the premises and unfurl the flag, following which he was taken into preventive custody by the Rajasthan Police.
In a video shot by his supporters, before the police arrived to detain him, Kirodi Lal Meena said, "Along with dozens of brave Meena youth, we have overcome several challenges to enter the Amagarh Fort and hoisted the flag of the Meena community."
Tensions have been running high in Jaipur for over a week after some Hindutva groups allegedly hoisted a saffron flag atop the Amagarh Fort which was later removed by members of the tribal Meena community who accused right-wing Hindu groups of tampering with their culture. The Amagarh Fort has a temple that is popular among members of the Meena community.
After a video of the removal of the saffron flag went viral, Hindu outfits had raised objections. Controversy erupted as Hindutva groups claimed that Meena community leader and independent MLA Ramkesh Meena had allegedly torn off the saffron flag while it was being removed from the Amagarh Fort. BJP MP Kirodi Lal Meena had accused Ramkesh Meena of misleading the community and creating disharmony. He said also argued that Meenas were Hindus and Ramkesh Meena was distorting facts.
Tensions between the Meenas and Hindu outfits had escalated further over remarks of Sudarshan TV editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke who had threatened to visit the fort on August 1 to once again hoist a saffron flag on the Amagarh Fort.
On Saturday, Chavhanke was booked in a police case in Jaipur for hurting religious sentiments under relevant provisions of the IPC, IT and SC/ST Acts. The FIR against Chavhanke, lodged by Girraj Meena, the head of the Surajpol unit of the Rajasthan Adivasi Meena Seva Sangh, claims that Chavhanke abused the community on his channel and hurt their sentiments.
Given this massive row and fears that tensions may erupt in a big way at the Amagarh on August 1, prohibitory orders were issued. The Jaipur Police had tightened security arrangements to prevent anyone from going to the fort but with MP Kirodi Lal Meena and his supporters sneaking in, the Jaipur police has been left rather red-faced.
MLA Ramkesh Meena said that he has no objection to Kirori Lal hoisting the white flag of the Meena community. The MLA said that they were opposed to Hindutva organizations who had announced that they will hoist a saffron flag in Amagarh. Ramkesh says that since Kirori Lal has hoisted the flag of the Meena community, he has no hard feelings.