news Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 05:30
A gatekeeper at the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve has lodged a complaint with the police alleging that Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi had assaulted him on Sunday.   According to a report in The Times of India, 57-year-old Rooplal Verma told the police that Gandhi was on her way to Puranpur on Sunday morning had stopped by the Garha forest barrier in the Mala forest range when she saw wheat crop residue being burnt in the fields.   She reportedly lost her temper at the sight and questioned Verma about it. Apparently unsatisfied by his response, she slapped Verma. Even he protested, she continued to hit him. Verma also says that the manhandling continued despite his pleading with Gandhi, and telling her that he had voted for her several times in the past.   Quoting the complaint, the Times of India report says that Deputy Forest Ranger Mahesh Chandra was also present at the spot but fled the scene after the minister’s convoy arrived.   Verma admitted that burning the crop residue sometimes causes the fire to spread to adjoining forest areas but is promptly extinguished when such an incident occurs.   Gandhi’s spokesperson MR Malik, however, has accused Verma of fabricating the allegations and said that the minister only warned Verma.   “The minister has always discouraged the burning of crop waste. Concerned that the fire was raging so close to the forest, she warned against negligence,” he is quoted as saying.   Read more at: Gateman alleges assault by Maneka Gandhi
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