A boy was injured in a stone pelting incident during a public meeting held by AAP’s Gujarat unit president and Katargam Assembly seat candidate Gopal Italia in Surat late on Saturday.
Italia was addressing the huge public meeting on the main road near Panchvati society at Lalita Chowkdi when three to four stones were hurled from the area where people were seated on chairs. One of the stones hit the boy who along with his father was sitting near the stage. Italia stopped his speech after learning about the incident.
The boy, who was identified as Harsh, the son of Ashok Gohil and a resident of Panchvati society, was immediately rushed to a hospital by Italia. He was discharged from the private hospital after primary treatment.
The public meeting ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections was cancelled after the incident.
Later, Italia tweeted accusing the BJP of pelting stones.“Due to the fear of losing the Katargam Assembly elections, BJP goons pelted stones at my public meeting today, in which a small child got injured. If they had done some work in the last 27 years, then today they would not have to throw stones at the public meeting of the Aam Aadmi Party. The people will reply to the BJP’s stone pelters with a broom,” he posted in Hindi.
AAP leader and Surat city Lok Sabha seat in charge Rajikant Vaghani also said they “suspect that BJP supporters may be involved in this incident.” “This is the second incident. Earlier on November 21, AAP volunteer Mahendra Goswami, a resident of Limbayat, was attacked by some unknown person with a sharp knife in the public meeting of AAP Limbayat candidate Vijay Tayde. The attacker immediately escaped from the spot and Goswami incurred a scar on the back of his right leg knee,” he added.
Vaghani said, “We are following the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi. During the freedom movement, he was also beaten up by the Britishers and he or his supporters had never taken the law into their hands but followed the path of non-violence. We will follow the path of non-violence and we will continue our fight.”
He also pointed out several incidents in which Aam Aadmi Party leaders have been injured in the past. “Leader of Opposition Dharmesh Bhandari was beaten up in VNSGU, and even our municipal councillors were beaten up in SMC. Our party workers were beaten up by BJP goons outside the BJP office. Our state General Secretary Manoj Sorathiya was beaten up during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival at Punagam near the AAP Ganesh Pandal. There is not a single incident wherein any worker or leader of AAP had done violence not even in the self-defence.”
BJP candidate and sitting MLA of Katargam Veenubhai Moradiya said, “BJP workers are not involved in the incident and nobody from our party can do such type of activity.”
Gujarat will vote in two phases on December 1 and December 5 and counting will be held on December 8.