Uttar Pradesh to probe attacks, Joshi demands CBI inquiry (Lead)

July 19th, 2009 - 4:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party Lucknow/New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government Sunday announced a crime branch inquiry into the attack on state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s house after her remarks on Chief Minister Mayawati. But Joshi demanded that the probe be done by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“Now, CB-CID (crime branch-criminal investigation department) would investigate the case,” state Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told reporters in Lucknow.

Joshi’s house in Lucknow was set on fire Wednesday night allegedly by a group of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) workers for making remarks that offended Mayawati both as a woman and a Dalit.

Joshi was arrested and charged under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. She was granted bail by a Moradabad court Saturday.

Meanwhile, Joshi apologized for her remarks and demanded that the probe be done by the CBI.

“I am sorry for what I said. My issue was right and it is a debatable one. The Uttar Pradesh government is very insensitive. They do not care for the women,” Joshi told reporters in New Delhi.

“The probe should be done by the CBI,” she said.

Joshi also accepted that she also felt embarrassed after making those remarks but her intention was not to hurt any individual or caste.

“I was embarrassed for that seven-second line that I made during a seven minute speech, but the intention was not to demean any individual, forget about a caste,” she said.

Joshi also said she was speaking on a woman-related issue and was trying to evoke the sensitivity of a woman chief minister.

Joshi, who is in the national capital to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi, described the charges against her as “disproportionate and illegal”, and said that she was “ready to go to jail a 100 times and will continue to fight for the poor, downtrodden and women’s rights”.

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