A 28-year-old Aam Aadmi Party member smeared blue ink on senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav’s face during a party event to celebrate International Women’s Day at Jantar Mantar on Saturday afternoon. The man was identified as Sagar Bhandari, an AAP member from Shalimar Bagh.
Around 2.40pm when Yadav was talking to mediapersons, Bhandari, who had been wearing an AAP cap and badge, shouted “Bharat mata ki jai”, jumped onto the stage and rubbed blue ink on Yadav’s face. As he tried to get off the stage, several AAP supporters, mostly women, surrounded him and dragged him to one side. Some AAP supporters then assaulted Bhandari.
Following this, he was taken to the Parliament Street police station and later, his medical examination was conducted at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.
According to police, Bhandari was not happy with the party. AAP workers told police that Bhandari, who was staying in the party office in Shalimar Bagh, wanted to speak to Yadav but since no one paid attention to him, he got angry.
Yadav, on the other hand, did not wipe the ink off his face. Addressing the gathering, Yadav said, “I have been told to clean my face but I am not ashamed of the ink, This incident makes me stand next to Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal.”
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Stating that he would not press charges against Bhandari, Yadav said, “The man came from the back. I did not even see his face. I don’t know who he is and why he did this. I cannot blame anyone for this incident.”
He told the audience, “If you want to send a message on the incident, then the only way to do it will be to hold this sabha despite the incident. If he gets the message, he will probably approach us from the front and not from our back.”
Despite most AAP supporters urging him to file a police complaint, Yadav refused to do so. He also went to the Parliament Street police station and asked police not to lodge a case.
Police said Yadav approached them saying that he did not want any inquiry into the matter. He told police that it was an internal matter and the party would sort it out.
“When you enter politics and raise your voice against people, you should be willing to do so at a cost,” Yadav said.
Meanwhile, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said, “They will do such things when you walk the path of honesty.”
Senior AAP leader Shazia Ilmi called the incident ‘appalling and vindictive’ and put the blame on the BJP.