On Tuesday, Swami Agnivesh, a social activist, was attacked by a mob outside a hotel in Jharkhand’s Pakur district. Agnivesh has said that the mob included activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), which is affiliated to the BJP.
Police said that the activist had arrived in Pakur to attend a programme concerning the Paharia tribe at the Littipara stadium. While exiting the hotel, a group of protesters, said to be activists of the BJYM, the BJP’s youth wing, waiting outside began shouting slogans against him.
After shouting slogans, Agnivesh was assaulted by the mob. His turban was pulled off, his clothes were torn and he fell to the ground. Videos showed him being continuously assaulted by the crowd after having fallen.
In the video, the mob tells Agnivesh to “go back” while calling him a “Pakistani agent”.
Post the assault, the activist said, “I was told that people from BJYM and ABVP (students’ wing of the RSS) were protesting outside the hotel against me. I told them that they could come and talk to me about their objections. But nobody came.”
Chief Minister Raghubar Das has ordered an inquiry into the matter and the police have registered an FIR against eight BJYM activists, with its district leader included. A special investigation team has also been formed to probe into the incident. Police have invoked Section 3 (II) of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Eight persons have been named in the FIR, who are Anand Tiwari, Pintu Mandal, Ashok Kumar (a ward Councillor), Prasanna Mishra (district BJYM Chief), Gopi Dubey, Balram Dubey, Shiv Kumar Saha and Badal Mandal.
Senior Pakur doctors have said that the activist suffered minor injuries and was discharged after treatment.
BJYM state chief Amit Singh said that although a protest had been planned against the activist, youth wing activists had not been involved in the assault. The Jharkhand CM announced that the incident would be probed by the Santhal Pargana DIG and Divisional Commissioner.
Akhilesh Kumar Jha, DIG (Santhal Pargana) said, “The identity of the people involved in the same is being ascertained. We have asked for a detailed report.”
In response to the incident, Congress President Rahul Gandhi took to twitter to play a ‘pop quiz’ with the government and asking people to name the perpetrator.
I bow to the most powerful in the line. A person’s strength & power are all that are important to me.
I use hatred & fear to maintain the hierarchy of power. I seek out the weakest & crush them.
I rank all living beings based on their usefulness to me.
Who am I? pic.twitter.com/y7jw49Hei7
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 18, 2018