Opposition slams “BJP goons” for mob attack on Swami Agnivesh

From Tejashwi Yadav, Randeep Surjewala to senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, well-known historian Irfan Habib and senior journalist Shekhar Gupta; everyone condemned the mob attack on Swami Agnivesh

Photo courtesy: Social media
Photo courtesy: Social media

Vikrant Jha

From political leaders to activists and journalists, everyone condemned “BJP” goons’ attack on Swami Agnivesh on Tuesday.

RJD leader and the leader of the opposition in Bihar strongly condemned “the murderous attack on Swami Agnivesh in BJP ruling state Jharkhand by BJP goons” and said “these state sponsored BJP gundas don’t have any fear of law”. Asking the BJP to apologise, Yadav also demanded for the culprits to be caught.

Interestingly and co-incidentally, on Monday the Supreme Court passed an order asking the state to “ensure order and prevent mobocracy”.

Reminding the apex court judgement, Congress’ Randeep Surjewala too attacked the “BJP goons” in a tweet, saying; “BJP goons openly flout the Supreme Court verdict on punishing ‘Violence by Mobocracy’. Horrific, gruesome & murderous attack on Swami Agnivesh in Jharkhand today is a painful reminder that ‘Lynch Mob Mentality’ rules with abetment of BJP Govt.

Saying “this is the contempt that the BJP has for the rule of law & the SC,” senior advocate Prashant Bhushan tweeted; “Swami Agnivesh brutally assaulted by BJP Yuva morcha goons in BJP ruled Jharkhand on the day the SC delivered a tough judgement against mob vigilantism.”

“Is this the way to react if someone expresses an opinion you don't agree with,” asked historian Irfan Habib calling the incident “shameful”. Asking “is there any decency left,” senior journalist Shekhar Gupta said; “Shocking & shameful the manhandling of Swami Agnivesh. He’s a decent man who never meant or did harm to anybody. And he is 80, for heaven’s sake.”

Advisory member of CBFC and former convener of BJP Samvadcell Khemchand Sharma, however, called the story of BJP workers attacking a “backroom Congress politician” Swami Agnivesh “fabricated”. “We have strong doubts on reports that ABVP & BJP Yuva Morcha workers mishandled Swami Agnivesh ji,” he said in a tweet. “He is a Swami just to confuse people, otherwise full time back room politician,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, social activist Swami Agnivesh was allegedly attacked and beaten up by suspected supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha (BJYM), in Jharkhand's Pakur district on Tuesday, leaving him shaken.

“We were on our way to address people when a mob of hundreds started hurling abuses and soon turned violent,” alleged Manohar Manav who is accompanying Swami Agnivesh in Pakur. “The BJPYM workers and extreme Hindutva supporters could have killed us. Mob-lynching kind of a situation was created by fascist forces,” Manav added on a phone call with National Herald.

“There was no police personnel present there. Even when I repeatedly called SP & DM they didn't turn up. I was told that ABVP & BJP Yuva Morcha workers want to protest. I told them there's no need to protest, they can come in & talk. No one came in at that time,” Swami Agnivesh was later quoted by ANI as saying.

Police said the 78-year-old was attacked when he was going to participate in the 195th Damin Mahotsav at Littpara. The incident occurred just when he stepped out of his hotel.

The attackers first shouted “go back” slogans and showed black flags and later thrashed him even as he fell on the ground and his aides did their best to protect him, reported Pakur edition of Dainik Jagran. The attackers, reported Jagran, alleged that he was visiting the area dominated by Advasis to provoke the community ‘at the instructions of Christian Missionaries and Pakistan’ before getting violent.

Strongly condemning the attack by “BJP goons”, Shabnam Hashmi demanded “immediate arrest of the hoodlums who attacked”.

Police detained 20 of the attackers.

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Published: 17 Jul 2018, 4:27 PM