Agnivesh says attack was planned, Minister calls him fraud
Ranchi, July 18 (IANS) Social activist Swami Agnivesh on Wednesday alleged that the brutal attack on him in Jharkhand was "pre-planned" and sought a judicial probe into it while a state Minister dubbed him a "fraud".
"The attack on me was pre-planned," Agnivesh told the media here. "The Pakur district administration was given information regarding my programme. But no security was provided by them.
"If the state government wants to probe the incident, then it should order a judicial probe so that the culprits can be punished," he said.
Congress leader and former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay and former Chief Minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik leader Babulal Marandi were present at the press meet.
Agnivesh said he had no hope that the Jharkhand or central government would probe the incident.
"People arrested in the incident were released. This indicates the mindset of the government. The BJP and RSS people are defaming the name of Lord Ram. Our Hindu religion does not preach violence."
Although the attack on Tuesday on Agnivesh was captured on camera, none of the attackers, who are believed to be rightwing Hindu activists, have been prosecuted.
Agnivesh said the condition of tribals and Dalits was "very bad" in the country.
"I have launched a programme to protect the tribal rights. Around 25,000 tribals were expected to attend the programme but more than one lakh came. Despite such large gathering, no security arrangement was made. This indicates that the government wanted to eliminate me."
After activists shouting "Jai Shri Ram" slogans thrashed Agnivesh as he stepped out of his hotel, he had to be taken to a hospital with injuries.
On Wednesday, Jharkhand Urban Development Minister C.P. Singh said that Swami Agnivesh "is a fraud" and he conspired to get himself attacked.
"Agnivesh is a fraud. I know him for the last 40 years. No Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) worker was involved in the thrashing. He conspired to get himself thrashed," Singh told the media.
He alleged that Agnivesh used foreign funding to create unrest in the country.
The Jharkhand Assembly on Wednesday witnessed disruption over the attack on Agnivesh. The opposition members were angry with Singh for calling Agnivesh a "fraud" and "dalal".
Leader of Opposition Hemant Soren said: "The incident has taken place at the instruction of the state government. The government had prior information regarding the thrashing by BJYM workers."
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda tried to clam the opposition by saying that Chief Minister Raghubar Das had ordered a probe. "Such an incident should have not have taken place."