Gujarat Home Minister attacked with shoe

Gandhinagar, March 2 (IANS) A government clerk on Thursday hurled shoes at Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja at the entrance of the Gujarat assembly apparently to protest against growing corruption.

Gopal Italia from Dhandhuka town in Ahmedabad district hurled a shoe as soon as the minister began speaking to the media on the killing of a Dalit sarpanch in Saurashtra region.

As the minister began speaking, Gopal came within a couple of metres of Jadeja and hurled the shoe.

As a startled Jadeja dodged the shoe, Italia threw another one that landed on the podium where the microphones were placed.

The attacker was immediately grabbed by security guards.

Italia, who works as a clerk in the office of the sub-divisional magistrate of Dhandhuka, began shouting “prohibition, shame, shame” and “corruption, shame, shame”.

While being taken away, the youth said he targeted the minister in protest against the “arrogance” of the government, rising corruption and unemployment.

“I see it as a (protest) against the inability of the state to control rampant corruption, rising unemployment and inability to implement prohibition,” he said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police R.R. Brahmbhatt later told reporters that Italia appeared to be mentally unstable.

“He is the same person who had some time ago posed as a policeman and called Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel to complain about the new prohibition law,” he said.

The audio clip of Gopal and the Deputy Chief Minister had gone viral on social media and he was arrested in the case.

Condemning the incident, state BJP president Jitu Vaghani blamed the Congress for “misleading” the people of Gujarat, leading to such an incident.

“Anyone in a democracy has the right to submit a memorandum. But the way this boy has acted is condemnable. I fear some opposition leader may be behind him. It must be investigated,” Vaghani said.

The Congress denied it was involved.

Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said: “The youth is only giving voice to the anger among various sections in the state, be it youths, farmers, Patidars, Dalits or others.”

The leader of OBC community, Alpesh Thakore, said the incident proved the ineffectiveness of the BJP government in the state.

“If the Home Minister is not safe in the premises of one of the most secure places, then it speaks volumes about their governance,” he said.

–IANS

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