All 8 accused in Swami Agnivesh attack affiliated to BJP, BJYM, RSS; incidents of violence by right-wing groups on the rise

Activist Swami Agnivesh was attacked last week in Jharkhand's Pakur town, allegedly by members of BJP Yuva Morcha (BJYM). And though BJP national president Amit Shah denied the involvement of any members of his party, a report on The Indian Express has said that all eight persons named in the FIR are directly linked to the BJYM, RSS or the BJP and its affiliates.

The eight persons named in the FIR, as reported by The Indian Express article are: Anand Tiwari, Pintu Dubey, Prasann Mishra, Gopi Dubey, Ashok Prasad, Balram Dubey, Badal Mandal and Shiv Kumar. The eight range from being members of the RSS, BJP, Bajrang Dal and BJYM. One of them, Mishra, is the district head of the BJYM, while Pintu Dubey is the district convenor of the Bajrang Dal. Gopi Dubey is the BJP's district secretary, the report mentioned.

However, this was far from being the first time the RSS and BJP and their affiliated organisations have indulged in violence on religious grounds, or targeted people who disagreed with the Sangh.

File image of Swami Agnivesh. Reuters

File image of Swami Agnivesh. Reuters

Last week, five BJYM members were arrested in Kerala for vandalising Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor's office. According to a report on The News Minute, the five arrested accused have been identified as Manu (25), Akhil (28), Govind (29), Vishnu (28) and Harikrishnan (27).

The attack on Tharoor's office took place after the Congress leader made his controversial "Hindu Pakistan" remarks. Tharoor wasn't present in his office at the time of the incident, whereby protesters smeared black engine oil on office premises and put up a banner saying 'Hindu Pakistan Office'. They also laid a wreath at the office's entrance and raised slogans asking him to leave the country and go to Pakistan, the report added.

Meanwhile in West Bengal, BJP party workers attacked police personnel while returning from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Midnapore town. Video footage showed BJP activists kicking and beating police personnel with bamboo sticks after the latter allegedly failed to clear the roads for their party vehicles to move.

BJP state unit president Dilip Ghosh said people couldn't reach the rally venue, and it was "natural" that they would be angry with the police for blocking their way with guardrails. "Police should have made the arrangements peacefully. It was not the aim of these people to indulge in violence. Had it been so, then there would have been more attacks on the police, along the entire stretch," he claimed.

Earlier this year, a 32-year-old Muslim youth died after being attacked by Bajrang Dal activists in Gujarat, while his mother was grievously wounded. Five persons were arrested for the attack that took place in Chhatral town of Gandhinagar district. According to a report on The Indian Express, the victim, Farnaz, and his mother were attacked by disobeying the Bajrang Dal's diktat of remaining indoors while a procession was being carried out through the Muslim-dominated area to mark the anniversary of the Babri Mosque demolition.

The police admitted that incidents of communal violence have been recurring. "In other cases that have happened in the recent past, we have made arrests and some matters are also in court. We are aware of the recurring incidents and we are ensuring that there is no tension," the superintendent of police for Gandhinagar, Virendra Yadav, said.


Updated Date: Jul 24, 2018 09:55 AM

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