Gurgaon: A major political storm was kicked up today after an altercation between beggars and an unidentified person lead to vandalizing of public property across several busy intersections in the National Capital Region.
According to eyewitness reports the altercation started when an office goer demanded a beggar sing him a ‘Bangladeshi folk song’ in return of giving him two rupees.
“He finally opened the car window after I rammed it three times,” said the victim, a frail looking man and father of six, who chose to stay anonymous, “He then demanded that since I am able-bodied I must sing him a folk song from my native place. He was wearing goggles and looked like he was in his twenties.”
Hours after the incident beggars and workers gheraoed the office of the District Magistrate, renewing their demands for quotas in welfare schemes. “Recent slowdown in the construction industry has lead to joblessness and begging as a last resort to support their families,” local MLA Bhim Singh told our reporter. ‘The government is looking into their demands,” he added upon being questioned on welfare quotas.
The beggars however were not convinced and alleged a collusion between the government and the police. ‘The police keeps harassing us by claiming we are illegal immigrants when we are actually from Bengal,” said Mr Dhaka, the leader of the agitation.
The beggar agitation has received support from several NGOs. Armani Sen of the Delhi based ‘Pariborton’ urged media persons present to see the big picture, which she said was captured elegantly in her t-shirt with the slogan “One War. Class War”
‘Such behavior are manifestations of a nation wide middle-class fascist surge which was begun with the 2002 riots in Gujarat.’ the spokeswoman for the NGO told this reporter “While America welcomes the immigration bill and the world moves towards open borders, we in India refuse to get out of our primitive ghetto mentality.”
A reprieve came to the protesters later in the day, as the government announced Rs 20,000 in compensation to the affected person and 1,000 each to every beggar in NCR who could produce a valid Aadhar card. Police are still trying to identify the suspect who was in a black Santro car with a UP 16 number plate. A case of incitement to riot has been registered against him under IPC.