News Karnataka
Saturday, April 20 2024

At Yogi Adityanath’s rally, cops make woman remove burqa

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Ballia: Minutes before Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was to make an appearance at a rally in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia district, a bizzare scene played out. Three women police officers were seen standing next a woman wearing a burqa – the outer robe worn in public by women in some Islamic traditions — gesturing that she should remove it. Promising an inquiry, a senior police officer police said they just had a black flag alert.

In visuals shot by journalists, the woman is seen first taking off a saffron scarf from around her neck. Over the next minute, prompted by the officers, she took off the burqa, revealing a cream saree underneath.

She then smiled at the officers, who asked her to fold the garment and keep it. But soon, a male police officer arrived and walked away with the burqa. In the video, the officer could be heard admonishing a journalist recording the sequence. “Kya yaar aap bhi (you too, friend?)” he is heard saying.

The woman, who identified herself as Saira, said she was a BJP worker and had come to the rally from her village wearing her “traditional dress”.

“It was black in colour. Perhaps there is some kind of a ban here, that’s why I was asked to remove it. I have been a worker for a long time. My husband has been with the BJP for over a decade. It’s ok, let it be,” she said.

The district police chief, who was in charge of security for the rally, said there would be an inquiry.

“So far, I have not received any report of this. We had instructions that there should be no black flags shown at the rally. I will get this looked into. One cannot forcibly make anyone remove a burqa,” said Anil Kumar.

Three days ago, black flags were shown to the Chief Minister in Meerut, a town in the western part of the state, where he had gone to address a rally ahead of the local bodies’ election. In the scuffle that followed, BJP supporters thrashed the man responsible. It is not clear why black flags were shown.

In June, 11 students of the Lucknow University students were arrested and denied bail for 20 days for a similar reason. They were highlighting what they called the “double standards” of the university administration. The administration, they had said, which claimed there was a lack of funds, but sanctioned “more than adequate money” for a function on Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, which was being attended by the Chief Minister.


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