Shocker: Arvind Kejriwal's detention in Narendra Modi-ruled Gujarat sparks street battles between BJP, AAP

Written by PTI | New Delhi/Lucknow | Updated: Mar 6 2014, 03:12am hrs
Arvind KejriwalAAP chief Arvind Kejriwal with supporters during his election campaign in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on Wednesday. PTI
Hours after Arvind Kejriwal was detained in CM Narendra Modi-ruled Gujarat and his car was damaged by protesters, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers today fought pitched battles with BJP activists outside the saffron party headquarters in Delhi and Lucknow .

The violence on the streets came on a day the Election Commission of India announced the Lok Sabha poll schedule and police in Gujarat stopped Kejriwal, who began a 4-day tour of the state, on his tracks for alleged violation of the model code of conduct by travelling in a long carcade. Shortly thereafter, he was allowed to go.

Accusing Narendra Modi of getting scared of Kejriwal and initiating police action, AAP workers stormed the BJP head office on Ashoka Road in central Delhi protesting against Kejriwal's detention in Radhanpur in North Gujarat where he has gone to "inspect" development that has been claimed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

They shouted slogans against Modi saying he was "scared" by Kejriwal's visit and was using the police against him.

The rival sides attacked each other indulging in pelting of stones. Plastic chairs were hurled from inside BJP office on the protesters outside.

Police which reached the spot used water canons to disperse the warring activists.

The scene outside the BJP office looked a battle field with activists of both sides hurling stones and other missiles at each other. At least five people from either side were injured, police said. Police said an FIR will be filed in the case.

Nalin Kohli, a BJP office bearer, accused journalist-turned AAP leader Ashutosh, a candidate in Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency, of engineering the trouble and demanded his arrest.

But AAP leaders hit back saying it was the BJP activists who provoked violence.

In Lucknow, workers of Aam Aadmi Party, armed with brooms, clashed with lathi-wielding activists of BJP and fought pitched street battles outside BJP office on Vidhan Sabha Marg in protest against detention of Kejriwal.

Around three dozen AAP workers staged a demonstration outside the BJP headquarters and allegedly attacked the saffron party office with bricks, drawing retaliation as BJP workers, carrying canes, took to the streets.

Several people were mercilessly beaten up by canes after being knocked down on the road as rival groups chased each other away.

Many protesters were pinned down on the road before lathi blows rained on them.

Far away in Kairavh village in Gujarat, the windshield of the car carrying Kejriwal was damaged when BJP workers attacked his convoy in retailation to the protests by AAP workers in front of BJP headquarters in Delhi.

The BJP activists and those accompanying Kejriwal in the cavalcade in Kharohi village of Kutch district clashed this evening when the car windshield was broken.

AAP claimed that when Kejriwal's convoy reached Kharohi, some BJP workers showed black flags.

"Using the sticks to which black flags were tied they attacked Kejriwal's car when he had gone there to take a stock of problems people were facing due to a breach in Narmada canal in the area," AAP Gujarat convener Sukhdev Patel said.

A scuffle broke out and afterwards AAP leaders left the village.

Patel also alleged police had not been taking any action.

"Attackers threw a stick on Kejriwal's car due to which the windshield was damaged," former BJP MLA Kanu Kalsaria, who joined AAP and was in the convoy, said.

AAP's state convenor Sukhdev Patel claimed that Kejriwal was detained but police denied it saying they had only "briefed" Kejriwal on the model code of conduct which came into force today with the declaration of poll schedule.