Social activist Swami Agnivesh was assaulted allegedly by a group of BJP activists during the funeral procession of Late former Prime Minister of India outside the BJP headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) Marg Friday. Agnivesh claimed that he was heckled, pushed and hit by over a dozen people for a 1-km stretch, when he came to offer his condolences.
The activist said he had tried to file a complaint at Parliament Street police station, but was told it will be transferred to the IP Estate police station. “We are getting his complaint transferred. Swami Agnivesh will be called and we will listen to his version. There were adequate security provisions on that stretch,” said DCP (central) M S Randhawa.
Police claimed that 30 companies of Delhi Police were deputed on the route, of which 650 personnel were in civil clothes. “Security arrangements were made on short notice and were overseen by the Police Commissioner,” said a Delhi Police spokesperson.
At 11.45 am, Agnivesh said he parked his car at Vishnu Digambar Marg and walked towards DDU Marg. “I was barely 10 steps away from the headquarters when I was attacked by a group, who said ‘gaddar hai tu’…
Several videos capturing the assault were circulated online, which senior officers from New Delhi and Central district have been apprised of,” he alleged.
Agnivesh claimed that there was no police presence on the stretch: “I started walking towards Vishnu Digambar Marg, but they kept hitting me. When I got there, I saw three policemen… One of them asked me to sit in the PCR van… but the group started hitting it as well. The van then dropped me at my office.”
Police, however, said the Prime Minister had visited the headquarters in the morning and heavy security arrangements were in place. “How can it be possible that not even a single police officer was available at such a high-security area? We will go through CCTV footage to confirm the same,” said a senior police officer.
Earlier in July, Agnivesh was attacked by a mob outside a hotel in Jharkhand’s Pakur district. Agnivesh 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.