Rajasthan ex-royal threatens stir if assailants not arrested


Bharatpur: Former MP and erstwhile royal Vishwendra Singh Monday threatened a stir across Rajasthan if action was not taken against those responsible for firing on his supporters protesting against a controversial book on Bharatpur’s former rulers.

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“We will launch state-wide protest from Sep 9 and stage demonstration at the offices of district collectors and superintendents of police if those involved in firing are not arrested,” he said, addressing an all community meet in Kumher Baigor village in Bharatpur district, some 170 kilometres from Jaipur.

Seven of his supporters were injured in a shootout at a hotel in Bharatpur Thursday while he and his wife Divya Singh escaped unhurt.

The meet was attended by Member of Parliament Kirori Lal Meena and some prominent leaders of other communities.

Vishwendra Singh and his supporters also demanded a permanent ban on the book titled “Bharatpur Rajvansh – Achhooti Smritiyan,” authored by his uncle Raghuraj Singh.

The controversy over the book had led to a violent protest by his supporters at Hotel Laxmi Vilas owned by Raghuraj Singh. Witnesses told the police that while the supporters were damaging the reception area of the hotel and set ablaze some furniture, unidentified persons fired at them.

In an order issued Monday, the district administrative authorities have banned the circulation of the book till Sep 15.

The Rajasthan government had Sunday issued notice to Raghuraj Singh seeking his reply over the ban proposed on his book.

District Collector Krishna Kunal Sunday issued a notice to Raghuraj Singh and the publisher seeking an explanation as to why a ban should not be imposed on his book, which allegedly contains objectionable material.

“A local politician Rajveer Singh had submitted a complaint in writing seeking ban on the book,” a senior administrative official told IANS.

Among the many controversial parts, the book claims that Bharatpur estate borrowed a huge sum of money to buy uniforms for the army during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Kishan Singh and did not return this. This was strongly protested by Vishwendra Singh, who claimed that the money was meant for flood relief work and was returned.

Vishwendra Singh also raised objection over some personal letters being published in the book, claiming that it amounted to breach of privacy.