Swami Agnivesh says attacked for supporting tribals protesting land acquisition for a corporate

Agnivesh said there was a pattern in an assault on him at Pakur in Jharkhand and incidents of mob attacks by vigilante groups on dalits and minorities which appeared “state sponsored”.

NEW DELHI: Social activist and Bandhua Mukti Morcha leader Swami Agnivesh today alleged that he was attacked in Jharkhand for his support to tribals protesting massive land acquisition by the state government for a corporate group.

He said there was a pattern in an assault on him at Pakur in Jharkhand and incidents of mob attacks by vigilante groups on dalits and minorities which appeared “state sponsored”.

Read More | Swami Agnivesh alleges attack by BJP, RSS activists in Jharkhand

The 79-year-old activist, known for his work against bonded labour, was slapped, kicked around and verbally abused at Pakur on July 17, by a mob, which he said belonged to the BJP-affiliated youth groups who accused him of speaking against Hindus.

“I was going to support Pahariyas. The Raghubar Das government is handing over 2,5000 acre land to Adani in their area and the tribals are against it. The government has signed 210 MoUs to hand over 3.50 lakh acre land that belongs to tribals, on the basis of a hurriedly enacted law for land acquisition,” Agnivesh said at an event organised here by the Bandhua Mukti Morcha.

Citing the recent lynching incident at Alwar and other parts of Rajasthan, he said Modi government was “mute” over it.

“Not just Alwar and Jharkhand, there is a pattern in such incidents in last two years.It appears, directly or indirectly state sponsored.”

“The names of ruling party members have figured in news report. The state BJP chief is saying no one from his party was involved,” he said referring to attack on him in Jharkhand. In Alwar, Gyandev Ahuja, five time local MLA, is “justifying” the lynching incident there.

He also “justified” the incident with Pehlu Khan, Agnivesh said.

“The Centre is not doing anything. Modi is silent over it. The minorities, dalits, tribals and social activists like me who are raising their voice are being targeted,” he said.

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