Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has refused to accept any security for himself or his office despite an attack on the Aam Aadmi Party headquarters in Ghaziabad this morning. “The problem will not be solved by staying under cover,” he told reporters.
After a mob of around 50-60 people vandalised the AAP office, the Ghaziabad Police had urged Mr Kejriwal to review his refusal to take security and said they will post personnel at his office and house.
The attackers entered the AAP office near Mr Kejriwal’s home around 11 am, threw stones and broke windows with lathis. (Watch video here) They also allegedly targeted workers and misbehaved with women. The attackers were carrying flags of a group calling itself the “Hindu Raksha Dal”.
There was minimal security at the AAP office at the time of the attack. Mr Kejriwal has repeatedly asserted that his party will end the “VIP culture” that politicians are attuned to, starting with its most glaring symbols – vehicles with read beacons or lal batti, and heavy security.
AAP leader Prashant Bhushan has blamed the BJP and its affiliated groups for the attack. The Hindu Raksha Dal, he said, was the same group that attacked him at his office in 2011.
“So-called nationalistic party, the BJP, has started unleashing its goons against the AAP,” said Mr Bhushan. “BJP and Sangh-affiliated organisations are frustrated with the rise of AAP. It is unfortunate that a big political party lets its associates indulge in such kind of violence. This reflects their fascist and lumpen mentality.”
He alleged that Tejinder Bagga, who allegedly attacked him in 2011, was also behind today’s vandalism and is a “committed BJP member.”
One of the attackers had earlier told reporters that they were protesting against Mr Bhushan’s remarks suggesting a referendum in Kashmir on whether the people want the army for internal security. The AAP leader withdrew those remarks after much criticism.