Social Activist Shabnam Hashmi was on Monday attacked in Rae Bareli allegedly by BJP workers while she and her associates were distributing leaflets against the development claims of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Ms. Hashmi claimed that she and her associate Pratap Singh Negi were threatened and manhandled by a group of 24-30 BJP supporters when they had stopped to distribute leaflets brought out by JAVAB- Janvadi Vichar Andolan Bharat- a national platform of activists. The forum has chosen 100 constituencies in the country where they are campaigning to explode the "myths of the Gujarat model."
The incident took place barely 100 metres away from the police station Gadaganj. While nobody was hurt, Ms. Hashmi said the miscreants snatched away leaflets from their hands and threatened to set ablaze their vehicle.
"They used highly abusive and sexist language, with threats of rape. This is desperation. They (BJP) don't know what to do. They have built up a big hype (of the Gujarat Model) but don't know how to live up to it so they resort to such acts," she said.
Ms. Hashmi said she submitted a complaint to the Gadaganj police they did not lodge an FIR. The police said Ms. Hashmi was not attacked and she was only engaged in a small argument with locals while distributing leaflets in a busy market area.
"There was a small misunderstanding. She was distributing leaflets and a crowd gathered at the spot. The people thought she was campaigning for a particular party. Some people who had different ideologies resented and asked her to leave. At this an argument broke out. But we quickly sent a flying squad and resolved the matter," said the police officer.
He said he did not lodge an FIR as Ms. Hashmi had withdrawn her complaint. Ms. Hashmi dismissed the claim. "I have not withdrawn the application," she said.