The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) activists staged a protest today against the assault on Swami Agnivesh in Jharkhand and demanded the Centre to sack the state government. Agnivesh, a 79-year-old social activist known for his work against bonded labour, was slapped, kicked around and verbally abused in Jharkhand’s Pakur town on Tuesday by a mob, which he said belonged to BJP-affiliated youth groups who accused him of speaking against Hindus.
“The attack on Agnivesh is an attempt to silence the voices of protest against the growing atrocities against the Dalits and minorities in the country by the BJP and its allies,” SDPI vice president Sharfuddin Ahmad said.
“Swami Agnivesh symbolises the voice of dissent. Attack on him by saffron outfits is highly condemnable. The Centre should sack the BJP government in Jharkhand and take strict action against the persons who assaulted Agnivesh,” he said.
Party leader Taslim Rehmani said the SDPI was against the “growing trend of mob lynching” and attacks on persons such as Swami Agnivesh who has been at the forefront of raising voices of people existing at the lowest rung of the society. The protest organised by SDPI’s Delhi unit was led by its convener Nizamuddin Khan. The protesters marched from Jantar Mantar towards Parliament Street where police stopped them.