A video of yet another member of a political party abusing a citizen surfaced on Saturday, just days after three Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers were caught on camera assaulting an elderly woman in Mumbai for allegedly not allowing them to put up a poster outside her shop, this time in Karnataka.
Karnataka BJP MLA Aravind Limbavali was seen verbally abusing and misbehaving with a woman as she tried to hand over a complaint letter to him and speak to him regarding issues in Varthur, Bengaluru, following heavy rainfall, in a video shared by ANI. The police present at the spot is seen attempting to make the woman go away instead of addressing the visibly aggressive leader.
This incident is just the latest in a spate of episodes of verbal or physical abuse by politicians from various states and parties towards citizens. However, politicians being associated with crime is hardly a new phenomenon in the country.
An analysis by poll-rights group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) in March this year revealed that 45 percent of the candidates who won seats in the assembly elections of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, have criminal cases against them.
31 percent of sitting Rajya Sabha MPs have declared criminal cases against themselves, the group said in June. Most recently, as new governments were formed in Maharashtra and Bihar, ADR reports stated that 75 percent of the mini-cabinet members in Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde’s government and over 70 percent of the newly sworn-in ministers in Bihar are facing criminal cases.
When their misbehavior is caught on video, there is some amount of accountability demanded of them, as in the case of the MNS workers who were removed from key party posts and arrested, or in the case of self-proclaimed politician Shrikant Tyagi who was denied bail by a UP court for assaulting a woman in his building in Noida.
Despite this, the incidents continue to occur with alarming regularity. News18 draws up a list of the most harrowing incidents of abuse by politicians against citizens that took place recently:
• MNS Worker Slaps Woman in Mumbai
A video showed Vinod Argile, a local office-bearer of the Raj Thackeray-led MNS, and two other party workers slapping, pushing and abusing the middle-aged woman on September 1. The woman had taken objection to local MNS workers installing a pole for mounting an advertisement board in front of her shop in Kamathipura area in central Mumbai which led to a row, police said. The three were arrested and MNS issued an apology, stating that Argile had been removed from key party posts.
• Jharkhand BJP Leader Arrested for Torturing Maid
Jharkhand police arrested suspended BJP leader Seema Patra over allegations of torturing her 29-year-old tribal help Sunita. Seema Patra had allegedly kept the woman captive in her residence in Ranchi’s posh Ashok Nagar area for several years. Patra was suspended by BJP after a video of the woman, identified as Sunita, narrating her ordeal, went viral on social media with demands for Patra’s arrest.
Sunita has suffered dozens of injuries on her body as she was allegedly beaten with a hot pan and iron rods and was forced to lick the urine on the floor over years of torture.
• Punjab AAP MLA Slapped by Husband
Politicians aren’t immune to abuse either. A viral video of Punjab AAP legislator Baljinder Kaur being slapped and shoved by her husband Sukhraj Singh Bal, who is also an AAP leader, at their home in Bathinda district, sparked conversation and outrage on domestic abuse.
• Shiv Sena MLA Slaps, Abuses Catering Manager
Earlier this month, Shiv Sena MLA Santosh Bangar was seen abusing a private catering manager in a viral video. The rebel Shiv Sena MLA alleged that workers in his area were given bad quality midday meals, and slapped the manager.
• BJP Youth Leader Thrashes Ex-Army Man in MP
A Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader was booked on Tuesday after a video of him thrashing a retired Army man at his salon owner in Madhya Pradesh’s Reva district went viral. A CCTV video shows youth leader Rituraj Chaturvedi along with his accomplice entering a shop owned by Dinesh Mishra located in the Amhiya police station area on Monday night. The two men slap and kick Mishra and ransack his shop.
• Shrikant Tyagi Arrested after Abusing Neighbour
The political functionary was arrested earlier in August, after a video of him abusing a woman at a Noida housing complex went viral. Shrikant Tyagi, who identified himself as the national executive member of the BJP’s Kisan Morcha and national co-coordinator of its Yuva Samiti, was seen abusing and heckling a woman at Noida Sector 93’s Grand Omaxe society in a video which quickly went viral, following which a case was registered against him.