Pakur (Jharkhand), July 17. Social activist Swami Agnivesh on Tuesday alleged that he was attacked by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members at Pakur in Jharkhand for his “anti-Hindu” stance.
He was in Pakur to take part in an event in Littipara of the district. “As soon as I came out of the venue, BJYM and ABVP activists attacked me without any provocation. They alleged that I was speaking against Hindus”, he told PTI.
According to news agency IANS, police said the 78-year-old saffron robed activist was pounced upon as he stepped out of his hotel to take part in the 195th Damin Mahotsav at Littpara. Pakur is located around 360 km from Ranchi. Agnivesh was flanked by tribals who were holding bows and arrows when the mob attacked him.
“I 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… Without any warning, they pounced on me,” Agnivesh reportedly said.
The BJYM is the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party while ABVP is the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“I thought Jharkhand was a peaceful state, but my views have changed after this incident”, he said.
A video of the alleged attack with a large crowd thrashing the social activist and his supporters did the rounds of social media and TV channels.
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. Pakur sub-divisional police officer Ashok Kumar Singh said the guilty would not be spared.
The development comes amid the Supreme Court saying that horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be allowed to become a new norm and has to be curbed with iron hands.
Agnivesh had been an MLA in Haryana and also held a cabinet portfolio in the state government in 1970s. He quit politics later. He was also associated with the India Against Corruption movement led by Anna Hazare.