Pakur (Jharkhand): Swami Agnivesh, a 79-year-old social activist, was punched, kicked around and verbally abused, allegedly by the workers of BJP’s youth wing on Tuesday. Among those who joined in the free for all were activists of the RSS and the VHP, it is charged. The incident happened in Pakur area of Jharkhand.Swami Agnivesh, a 79-year-old social activist, was punched, kicked around and verbally abused, allegedly by the workers of BJP’s youth wing on Tuesday.
Among those who joined in the free for all were activists of the RSS and the VHP, it is charged. The incident happened in Pakur area of Jharkhand.”I pleaded with them with folded hands… But they didn’t think it was necessary to tell me why they were raining blows on me. They just went on and on,” Swami Agnivesh said. The swami was accused of speaking against ‘sanatan dharm’ and being hand-in-glove with Christian missionaries, in their mission to instigate tribals in Jharkhand. Since morning, the activists had been camping outside the hotel where Agnivesh was staying. He was scheduled to participate in an event in Littipada. However, as soon as he came out of the hotel, the right-wing activists surrounded him. They then raised slogans against Agnivesh.
As the matter escalated, the activists started manhandling him. The activists were chanting “Jai Sri Ram” as they thrashed the 79-year-old activist. The BJP condemned the attack but in the same breath added that one should see the attack in the backdrop of Swami Agnivesh’s “track record”.‘‘I had offered to hold a dialogue with them. But nobody came to speak to me. I was going to a sammelan (seminar) with my tribal friends when they launched an attack. They were carrying black flags and without any warning pounced on me. They punched, kicked and knocked me to the ground.
They also used cuss words,” Swami Agnivesh told NDTV.In Ranchi, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das ordered a probe into the incident. A video of the alleged attack did the rounds of social media and TV channels. After beating him up, the assailants declared, “If one wants to live in India, one has to chant Vande Mataram”.Asked about the incident, Superintendent of Police Shailendra Prasad Burnwal said he did not have any prior information about Agnivesh’s programme in the district.
However, Agnivesh told TV channels that he had informed the chief minister and the governor about his programme. He said his team had also written to the district administration informing it about the visit. “My colleagues have proof,” he claimed. “The attackers were gathering at the venue so how were the police unaware of it?” he asked. Agnivesh alleged that the attack was “pre-planned”. “There cannot be an attack without rhyme or reason,” he said.The assault came on a day the Supreme Court said that “horrendous acts of mobocracy” cannot be allowed to overrun the law of the land.