You are here:

Who is Annie Kohli?

by Danish  Oct 23, 2012 07:42 IST

#Anny Kohli   #Arvind Kejriwal   #WhoIsThis  

"I don't know how my day is going to shape up. Whole world wants to meet me," says 59-year-old Annie Kohli.

A day after she heckled Arvind Kejriwal outside India Against Corruption (IAC) secretariat in Ghaziabad, Kohli is hopping between TV studios. In the frenzy, she has lost her purse. She is an hour behind schedule as she was having lunch at India International Centre, with someone she says she does not know. "He wanted to meet. After we were done with the food, he told me he was a lawyer," says the woman with grey hair and eyes.

Kohli lives in Andheri, Mumbai, where she does documentation and conveyance deeds for properties.

She got associated with the IAC Mumbai chapter as a volunteer during the beginning of the Lokpal agitation, where she would create awareness about Jan Lokpal. "I was in regular touch with all the active members in Mumbai. I participated in the march from Churchgate to Adarsh society when Adarsh was a burning issue," she says.

Anny Kohli with Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

Praful Vohra, IAC member, Mumbai, confirms that Kohli joined the movement as a volunteer, but, "she wanted us to resolve her property dispute. We made it clear that we are only for systemic issues and not to look after individual cases."

Kohli continued participating in the Saturday meetings. On most occasions, Vohra says, she was strident and wanted volunteers to follow her. "She would reiterate that she was friends with Indira Gandhi and participated in  Mukti Bahini — armed struggle against the Pakistani Army during the Bangladesh Liberation War. She also got indulged in name dropping saying that she personally knew Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal," says Vohra.

On 2 August, after Hazare and Kejriwal gave the call for a political party at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, Kohli is said to have tried sabotaging the agitation in Mumbai. "She reached the stage and started shouting anti-Anna slogans. She questioned the decision of party formation," says an IAC volunteer.

Kohli admits that she has never personally met Hazare or Kejriwal.

She has no direct questions for Kejriwal. All her attempts to frame one, turns into an advice she says she has been trying to give the activist since he took the political plunge: Don't use the name of revolutionaries when you are a politician. "You are entitled to be a politician but cannot be Bhagat Singh at the same time," she says.

It was to convey this point that she tried entering the IAC press conference at Constitution Club, Delhi, on 18 October but was not allowed entry, she says.

Last Saturday, Kohli posted as her Facebook status her plan to gherao IAC office the following day. She got a call from a man who told her that they should go together as he also had some issues with Kejriwal. The caller was Vishnu Gupta, member of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena. Gupta was one of the three persons who had attacked senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan in October 2011. "I wanted to tell Kejriwal that he should not work with Prashant Bhushan type of people who are traitors," says Vishnu.

On Sunday afternoon, as Kejriwal was addressing a press conference about police atrocities on IAC members who were protesting outside the residence of Haryana chief minister, Kohli confronted Kejriwal on camera. Vishnu and his group were captured in the background.

However, Kohli denies knowing the antecedents of her co-protester. "I did not even know his name till you told me. I cannot do a background check of all those who agree with me and want to question Kejriwal."

Will she again try stating her views to Kejriwal? "No no. All of you have seen what happens when I try meeting him. I will leave for Mumbai tomorrow morning," she signs off while leaving for another TV studio.

Advertisement