Pulwama widows seek written assurance from Raj govt; CM Gehlot reacts

The widows have been protesting since February 28 and launched an indefinite hunger strike five days ago

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot


The widows of the three CRPF jawans from Rajasthan, who were killed in the 2019 Pulwama terror attack, on Thursday demanded a written assurance from the Ashok Gehlot government that their demands, including jobs to their relatives on compassionate grounds, will be met to end their protest.

The widows have been protesting since February 28 and launched an indefinite hunger strike five days ago. They have been camping outside former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot's residence here since Monday.

A medical team on Thursday checked their vitals.

The widows demand the construction of roads in their villages, changes in rules for providing jobs on compassionate grounds to their relatives, and installing idols of the martyrs. They have been demanding to meet CM Gehlot and on Thursday sought a written assurance from the state government that their demands will be met.

"We want a written assurance from the government. The chief minister should meet us so that we can raise our issues before him. Also, action should be taken against policemen who manhandled us," one of the widows told reporters.

On Twitter, Gehlot asked if it would be "appropriate" to give jobs to other relatives of the martyred jawans instead of their children.

"How can we justify giving job to any other relative by trampling upon the rights of the children of the martyr? What will happen to the children of the martyr when they grow up? Is it appropriate to trample upon their rights?" he asked.

He also shared a screenshot of a statement in which he accused state BJP leaders of "using the widows of the martyrs for their narrow political interests and thus dishonouring them".

In another tweet, Gehlot said, "BJP leaders had misbriefed Defence Minister Sh. Rajnath Singh. I have shared the facts with Defence Minister Sh. Rajnath Singh ji and Congress president Sh. Mallikarjun Kharge ji."

Meanwhile, National Commission for Women took cognizance of the issue and asked the state DGP to conduct an inquiry into the allegations of "mistreatment and assault" by the widows against police officials.

"NCWIndia has taken cognizance. Chairperson @sharmarekha has written to DGP Rajasthan to personally look into the matter and conduct an inquiry into allegations of mistreatment and assault levelled by the women against police officials. Detailed ATR must be apprised to NCW," the commission tweeted.

BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Kirori Lal Meena, who is protesting along with the widows near Pilot's residence, said he will continue to fight with them and not return empty hand.

"We will die, we will get ruined. But we will not return empty hand. The chief minister should meet them," Meena told reporters.

Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore said, "The governor is the constitutional head and he has written a letter to the CM. If he doesn't take it seriously then there is nothing more unfortunate than this. This reflects CM's stubbornness."

On Wednesday, a four-member delegation of BJP leaders met the governor, seeking his intervention in the matter. They also submitted a memorandum to him.

The governor then wrote to CM Gehlot, asking him to resolve the matter after considering the rules.

On Tuesday, two Rajasthan ministers Pratap Singh Khachariyawas and Shakuntala Rawat - met the widows and listened to their demands.

Later that day, Gehlot said in a tweet, "Some BJP leaders are disrespecting the martyrs and taking political mileage. This has never been the tradition of Rajasthan. I condemn it."

The widows of the CRPF jawans are also demanding a meeting with Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.

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