Despite STRICT security arrangements for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s funeral procession, social activist Swami Agnivesh was assaulted, allegedly by a group of BJP activists outside the BJP headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) Marg Friday. Agnivesh claimed that he was heckled, pushed and hit by over a dozen people for a 1-km stretch, when he came to offer his condolences.
The activist said he had tried to file a complaint at Parliament Street police station, but was told it will be transferred to the IP Estate police station. “We are getting his complaint transferred. Swami Agnivesh will be called and we will listen to his version. There were adequate security provisions on that stretch,” said DCP (central) M S Randhawa.
BREAKING | Swami Agnivesh assaulted in DDU Marg, New Delhi pic.twitter.com/fqa9Y7ndk5
Police claimed that 30 companies of Delhi Police were deputed on the route, of which 650 personnel were in civil clothes. “Security arrangements were made on short notice and were overseen by the Police Commissioner,” said a Delhi Police spokesperson.
At 11.45 am, Agnivesh said he parked his car at Vishnu Digambar Marg and walked towards DDU Marg. “I was barely 10 steps away from the headquarters when I was attacked by a group, who said ‘gaddar hai tu’… Several videos capturing the assault were circulated online, which senior officers from New Delhi and Central district have been apprised of,” he alleged.
Agnivesh claimed that there was no police presence on the stretch: “I started walking towards Vishnu Digambar Marg, but they kept hitting me. When I got there, I saw three policemen… One of them asked me to sit in the PCR van… but the group started hitting it as well. The van then dropped me at my office.”
Police, however, said the Prime Minister had visited the headquarters in the morning and heavy security arrangements were in place. “How can it be possible that not even a single police officer was available at such a high-security area? We will go through CCTV footage to confirm the same,” said a senior police officer.
Agnivesh was assaulted in Jharkhand’s Pakur on July 17, allegedly by youths who have links to BJP-affiliated groups or the RSS.