Arvind Kejriwal's AAP HQ attacked, Kumar Vishwas blames Bharatiya Janata Party, Hindu Raksha Dal chief arrested

Written by PTI | Ghaziabad | Updated: Jan 8 2014, 22:19pm hrs
Prashant BhushanArvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party had distanced itself from Prashant Bhushan's views on Kashmir. (PTI)
Activists of a right-wing group today attacked and vandalised the headquarters of Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party in Kaushambi here with bricks and stones to protest against party leader Prashant Bhushan's remarks on referendum in Kashmir.

However, hours after the attack on Aam Aadmi Party's Kaushambi office here, Ghaziabad Police today arrested the national convenor of Hindu Raksha Dal from Sahibabad area in connection with the incident.

Besides arresting national convener of Hindu Raksha Dal Pinki Choudhary in connection with the attack, police have detained another person in the regard.

"We have arrested an accused for the attack on AAP's office. Police are also scanning footage of CCTV installed at party's office to identify other accused, who would also be arrested soon," Rav Vijay Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, told reporters here.

Around 40 activists of Hindu Raksha Dal broke flower pots kept outside the AAP's office and tore party posters. Some glass doors were also smashed in the attack.

We today staged a protest against AAP's stand on Kashmir. AAP leader Prashant Bhushan's remark on Kashmir are very sad for Hindus due to which we staged a protest outside the party office," said Pinky Choudhary, national convenor, Hindu Raksha Dal.

Police said no one was injured in the attack.

SSP Dharmendra Singh said, "We have identified some people. They were some residents of Ghaziabad and the numbers of their cars have been noted. Action against them will be initiated soon."

AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey said, "Some youths, who are said to belong to Hindu Raksha Dal, gathered outside the party office and raised slogans against AAP. They also broke flower pots placed outside the party office".

Police have registered a case against unknown persons.

The SSP said there was no security at the party office but policemen have now been deployed there and at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence which is just a kilometre away.

He said they will again take up the issue of security with Kejriwal and try to convince him about that.Earlier, Kejriwal had turned down the security offered to him by Ghaziabad and Delhi Police.

Bhushan had recently said a referendum should be carried out in Kashmir to decide on deployment of the army to deal with security threats in the Valley.

However, the Aam Aadmi Party had distanced itself from his views.

AAP leader Kumar Vishwas blamed BJP for the incident, saying it is frustrated over Delhi Assembly election results. "Now they fear they will meet the same fate in Lok Sabha elections," he said.

"It is being claimed that workers of an organisation called Sri Ram Sena are behind the attack. Basically all these fanatic right wing outfits are part of BJP. BJP has become frustrated. After what has happened with it in the Delhi

Assembly elections, they fear the same might happen in the Lok

Sabha elections," Vishwas said.

On Bhushan's remarks on Kashmir, he said, "We have already said that Bhushan's view is not that of the party. We are against referendum and we understand problems of Kashmiris who are exiled in their own country.

"This is the problem with the working of BJP. If they come to power they will not allow anyone to speak," Vishwas said, adding, "If they do not agree on any issue, they can stage protest, sit on hunger strike or approach court but cannot resort to violence".

Reacting to the charge, BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "I don not have complete information about the incident. However, this sort of incident cannot be justified.

"Instead of blaming each other, due course of legal action should be followed. They see BJP even in their dreams.

They are working to stop the good governance of BJP. Whenever their fault is pointed out, they see BJP's hand behind it."

Prashant Bhushan blames BJP-affiliated groups for attack on AAP office

AAP leader Prashant Bhushan, who is under fire for his remarks on Kashmir, today blamed the BJP and RSS affiliated organisations for the attack on the party office, saying they were "extremely frustrated with the rise of AAP".

"This incident shows extreme frustration on the part of BJP, RSS and its affiliated organisations with the phenomenal rise of AAP. They are afraid of AAP and fear that it will damage their prospect in the Lok Sabha elections," he told reporters here today.

This incident, Bhushan said, proves that those parties are ready to use any means, "even going to the extent of vandalism and physically assaulting AAP leaders and supporters."

"This shows their fascist mentality and lumpen behaviour. It is unfortunate to see that a national party like BJP is now resorting to all kinds of violence and unleashing its goons," he added.

On AAP distancing itself from his views on Kashmir, he said, "There can be a difference of opinion within a party. I have already clarified and explained what I meant and there is not much difference in the party's statement. Neither I nor the party has said that Kashmir should be separated from India after conducting a referendum."

Talking about the attack on him in 2011, Bhushan said, he had lodged a complaint with Delhi Police but it "didn't take any action and allowed them to go scott free".

"Two years back, the same people had attacked me in my chamber opposite the Supreme Court. One of the assailants last time was also present this time. Another attacker runs a website and a BJP leader promotes this website," he charged.

Reacting to the incident, Congress leader Kamal Nath said, "I condemn all politics of violence."