I am against any sort of violence. I don’t know why I was attacked,” Swami Agnivesh told NDTV
Alleged BJP workers carried black flags and raised slogans
Swami Agnivesh said he offered dialogue, but got abuses in return
Chief Minister Raghubar Das asked police to investigate incident
Social Activist Swami Agnivesh was punched, kicked and pushed to the ground allegedly by BJP Yuva
Morcha workers in Jharkhand today. The alleged BJP workers had shown black flags and raised slogans against
him. The activist had offered a dialogue but got abuses in return.
Chief Minister Raghubar Das has asked the police to thoroughly investigate the incident.
Swami Agnivesh was attending an event in Pakur, about 365 km from state capital Ranchi. He was flanked by
tribals who were holding bows and arrows. He was attacked by a mob as soon as he came out of his hotel
. The alleged BJP workers were chanting “Jai Sri Ram” as they thrashed the 80-year-old activist.
“I am against any sort of violence. I am known as a peace-loving person. I don’t know why I was
attacked,” Swami Agnivesh told NDTV.
The BJP has condemned the attack, but in the same line added that we shouldn’t see the attack in
isolation and we have to consider Swami Agnivesh’s “track record”.
“There is no place for violence in democracy. But Swami Agnivesh should have organised for his
security,” P Shahdeo, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson, said.
Swami Agnivesh said he had informed the administration about his arrival. But there were no policemen
around even after the protesters had gathered outside his hotel. Local reporters said BJP youth wing’s
workers were protesting his visit, but he was completely taken aback when he was attacked, he said.
“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 dragged me on the ground. They also used
cuss words,” Swami Agnivesh told NDTV.
The activist likened the attack to mob lynchings that have been reported in several states in the past
one year. In all the cases, the blood-hungry mobs had consumed rumours on social media, especially
WhatsApp, about cow smuggling and presence of child kidnappers in their area.
“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.
Swami Agnivesh was rushed to hospital where doctors are running tests on him. He says that the stone
that missed his head landed on his ribs and he is in immense pain.
The attack appears to be pre-meditated, police said. They have detained 20 men and are sifting though
the CCTV footage before making further arrests.