July 2, 2021 3:09:27 am
At least three BJP workers were among 13 men booked for allegedly making an attempt on life of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) worker Haresh Savaliya and attacking a party convoy in Leriya village of Junagadh district even as top AAP leaders in the state sat on an overnight protest claiming police were not registering complaint under relevant sections.
Savaliya, AAP leader Pravin Ram and others were also booked for allegedly assaulting one Satish Chavdangar with the party claiming that they were being framed.
A convoy of AAP leaders led by Isudan Gadhvi, Mahesh Savani and Pravin Ram was attacked by a group of people at Leriya village on Wednesday evening when the AAP leaders reached the village as part of their Jan Samvedana Yatra to meet kin of those who died due to Covid-19.
The group of rioters allegedly showed black flags to the AAP convoy, then vandalised their cars and pelted stones before attacking Savaliya. In his complaint, Savaliya stated that he was driving in the first car of the convoy and got down from his vehicle to talk to the group. However, they didn’t listen and instead attacked him with iron pipes and sticks, injuring him.
Later in the evening, Gadhvi, Savani and Ram went to the Visavadar police station to get Savaliya’s complaint recorded. “However, police were not willing to register complaint with details as narrated by Savaliya nor were they ready to apply IPC Section 307 (attempt to murder) despite Savaliya having sustained multiple injuries. Therefore, we sat on a dharna,” Ram told The Indian Express.
Later in the night, Italia also reached Visavadar police station. Ravi Teja Vasamsetty, district superintendent of police of Junagadh also arrived in Visavadar. The standoff continued till Thursday morning when SS Ratnu, deputy superintendent of police (SC/ST cell) of Junagadh, informed the protesting AAP workers and leaders that an FIR was registered with IPC Section 307, among others.
In his complaint, Savaliya named Giju Vikma, Krunal Vikma, Hiren Vikma, Abhi Vikma, Jitu Ravaiya, Parthiv Vikma, Uday Mehta, Kana Gor, Jasmin Shashtri, Abhi Goswami, Jitendra Mehta, Dinesh Vikma, Kishor Dobariya and one unidentified man. While Mehta is the treasurer of Junagadh district unit of the BJP Yuva Morcha, Abhi Goswami is president of Visavadar taluka unit of the BJP Yuva Morcha. Abhi Vikma is also a local BJP worker. Shashtri was recently appointed head of Visavadar taluka unit of Seva Dal, a volunteer group of Congress.
Sub-inspector RD Damor, in charge of Visavadar police station, said, “It is not true that we were not willing to register a complaint. We were ascertaining facts of the incident before lodging an FIR.”
When asked about the accusation that BJP workers were involved in the attack, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Thursday said, “Earlier, when AAP leaders had gone to Somnath temple, local ‘Brahm Samaj’ members had stopped them from entering the temple because of their past comment against Hindus and Brahm Samaj… The same set of people had taken out a rally in villages of Visavadar taluka.The leaders of Brahm Samaj in Visavadar once again protested…”
Kirit Patel, president of Junagadh district unit of the BJP, insisted that Mehta and others did not act in their capacity as members of the ruling party. “BJP has nothing to do with it,” he said.
Visavadar police registered another FIR based on a complaint filed by Satish Chavdangar, owner of a fastfood joint in Visavadar, under IPC Section 307 and other Section relating to assault, rioting against Savaliya, Ram, Jaysukh Paghdar and “40 to 50 AAP workers”.
“This is a false complaint. I had not stepped out of my car in Leriya,” Ram claimed.
PSI Damor said that an investigation was going on and no one was detained till Thursday.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.