Well-known social activist Swami Agnivesh was beaten up by a mob in Pakur district of Jharkhand on Tuesday. Chief Minister Raghuvar Das has asked the State Home Secretary to order a probe.
“I’m 80 years old and this is the first time something like this has happened to me. I don’t know who the attackers were, who their leader is and which organisation they belong to... the government should investigate and take action against them,” Swami Agnivesh told local journalists. “I was told that people from the BJP Yuva Morcha and ABVP [student wing of the RSS] were protesting outside the hotel against me... I told them they could come in and talk to me, but nobody came. And when I came out of the hotel they attacked me.”
Swami Agnivesh was injured and his clothes were torn. He was taken to a local hospital.
“I’m alive today by God’s grace... it was a murderous attack… I don’t know why they assaulted me,” he said.
The activist was on his way to Litipara in Pakur district of Jharkhand to participate in an event organised by the Pahariya tribal community.
The mob raised slogans like “Swami Agnivesh wapas jao” (Swami Agnivesh go back) and “Jai Sri Ram”. He was also shown black flags. The assailants were reportedly upset with Swami Agnivesh’s visit to the State, believing him to be hand-in-glove with Christian missionaries to instigate tribals in the State. They had been camping outside his hotel since morning.
“What I gather is that this was not a planned protest,” said the BJP Yuva Morcha’s Jharkhand president Amit Kumar Singh.
“I can comment only after I get all the details,” he said.
Pakur Superintendent of Police Shailendra Kumar said the district administration was not aware of Swami Agnivesh’s visit. “As soon as we got the news that he was being attacked we reached the spot and detained some people.”
A two-member committee comprising Santhal Pargana Divisional Commissioner and Deputy Inspector General of Police have been assigned to probe the incident.