A day after he was attacked in Pakur area of Jharkhand, allegedly by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activists, social activist Swami Agnivesh on Wednesday claimed that the attack was “state-sponsored” and demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.
Agnivesh was attacked in Pakur on Tuesday when he was on his way to attend a function on Paharia tribal group.
Addressing the media in Ranchi on Wednesday morning, Agnivesh said the protesters alleged that he is a “supporter of beef”, which, he said, “is never the case”. He stated, “How can I support beef? In fact, I don’t support killing even chicken, or any animal for that matter.”
Maintaining that “fascist tendencies are getting strong”, he said, “It is time political parties got together and fought these tendencies at the political, and at the social, level. Otherwise, these tendencies will simply burn you.”
The issue was Wednesday raised in Jharkhand Assembly, during which Urban Development Minister C P Singh called Agnivesh a “fraud”.
The minister later told the media outside the House, “Yes, I said he is a fraud because I know about him. He himself had sponsored the attack.” READ | Who is Swami Agnivesh?
DIG (Dumka) Akhilesh Jha said there has been no arrest in the case so far. “Some people have been identified. We are investigating further,” he said.
A senior police official said no one has been detained for questioning.
District BJYM chief Prasanna Mishra, who is one of the people named in the FIR, said: “An inquiry is already on. The truth will come out. I can only say that apart from using black flags to mark our protest, we did not indulge in anything.”
Senior Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay, Babulal Marandi of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and other opposition leaders present by his side at the media conference,
Agnivesh said he had reached Pakur on Tuesday morning and held a press conference there later in the day, “The organisers (of the programme on Paharia tribe) had not only given the letter about my programme but had also got a receipt. (But) even the CID there was not active — they could have given me some indication that some people were not in a mood to talk, and that anything can happen.” Agnivesh was allegedly attacked when he left the hotel for the venue.
Stating that he was saved “by God’s grace”, and the fact that journalists were present there, the social activist said, “But ask those innocent people who have been lynched by mobs.”
Agnivesh, who returned to Delhi later in the day, said he will go to Pakur again if he is invited for any programme.
Stating that they protested against Agnivesh not because of any immediate or specific comment or action, BJYM’s Mishra said, “Over time, he has been supporting Naxal elements. He has spoken in favour of beef…. We were generally against his attitude towards national issues. Therefore we decided to protest when we learnt that he was here (Pakur). There was no immediate provocation for the protest,” Mishra said.