30 AAP workers detained in clash

30 AAP workers detained in clash

Police expected to brief Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev today

The Aam Aadmi Party’s Lok Sabha candidate from North East Delhi, Anand Kumar, was among around 30 people detained by Delhi Police on Wednesday for clashing with Bharatiya Janata Party supporters at BJP headquarters on Ashoka Road.

Police have confirmed that they will file a case and take strict action against the detainees. Kumar, a professor from Jawaharlal Nehru University, was detained at Parliament Street police station.

“Party workers from across the country were involved in the demonstration outside BJP headquarters. Two of our workers Amit and Pawan Pandey also sustained head injuries in the incident,” he told Deccan Herald, adding that 10 women were also among those detained.

Sources said the AAP workers had received SMSes asking them to assemble at BJP headquaters to protest against AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s brief “detention” by Gujarat Police on Wednesday.

Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) M K Meena, however, said AAP had not sought permission to hold any demonstration. Around 5 pm, the AAP workers with AAP Lok Sabha candidate from Chandni Chowk Ashutosh and Shazia Ilmi, a member of the AAP’s National Executive, assembled on Ashoka Road and started raising anti-BJP and anti-Modi slogans.

“Shiela toh hari hai, Modi ab teri bari hai,” was one of the slogans that were raised. It instigated the BJP workers, who went outside the office premises to confront the AAP workers.

On the other hand, the AAP workers allegedly responded by throwing stones and soon a violent clash broke out between activists of the two political parties. A billboard with pictures of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi and party chief Rajnath Singh was also ripped from the main gate.

“Both sides used stones, bricks and plastic chairs to attack each other. Several people, including police personnel, sustained injuries and were taken to Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital,” said another police officer.

Plastic chairs were also hurled from inside the BJP office on the crowds outside.Following police's failure to stop the violence, mild baton charge and water canons were used to disperse the protesters. Later in the day, both the parties blamed each other for the clash.

Kejriwal also tweeted and urged volunteers not to raise their hands and to stay calm and non-violent. “U should be prepared to lay down your life but never raise hand,” he said.

Delhi Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi is likely to give a report on the incident to Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev on Thursday.

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