ABVP's Mumbai office attacked; one injured

Last Updated 23 January 2016, 15:38 IST

The office of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in Matunga in central Mumbai was today allegedly vandalised by around six men, in which one of the members of the BJP-affiliated student union got injured, police said.

The incident comes in the backdrop of alleged suicide of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit research scholar pursuing PhD in Hyderabad Central University, who had earlier faced varsity's action for allegedly assaulting an ABVP leader.

"A group of five to six persons entered ABVP office in Matunga and damaged furniture," police said.

ABVP state organising secretary (Konkan region), Yadunath Deshpande, told PTI, "All karyakartas (workers) were inside the office when the attack took place. Six goons armed with hockey sticks and metal rods, came inside and suddenly started attacking our office.

"They broke glass-panes, furniture and one of our workers named Francis D'souza got injured in the attack. He has received two stitches on his forehead and is currently in an unconscious state at Sion hospital," he added.

Ruling out the possibility of any Dalit organisation being behind the incident, Deshpande alleged that the attack was done at the behest of Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, a charge termed as "ridiculous" by NSUI.

"We condemn such attacks and appeal that ABVP is ready to discuss, through dialogue, if some organisations have any problem with us. All issues can be resolved through dialogue. This attack has been carried out by NSUI at the behest of Rahul Gandhi, as he is only interested in taking political mileage out of the suicide incident in Hyderabad," he alleged.

"We are already in positive dialogue with Dalit organisations and hence they cannot be behind this attack. There may be difference of opinions, but these are very wise organisations, who would not resort to violence," Deshpande said.

Deshpande further alleged that ABVP office in Bengaluru, too, was attacked and the miscreants were finally identified to be associated with NSUI. "Attacks on our offices is becoming frequent as cheap politics is being played over the Dalit scholar's death," he added.

Meanwhile, when contacted former Maharashtra unit president of NSUI, Suraj Thakur, alleged that ABVP's charge was ridiculous and that the organisation is only indulging in publicity stunts.

"NSUI believes in Mahatma Gandhi's ideology and thus we never resort to violence. We believe in protests but in a peaceful manner. The ABVP's charge is laughable and we are only being named as ABVP's name has cropped up in Rohith Vemula suicide case," he said.

Police said no arrests have been made in this connection so far.

(Published 23 January 2016, 15:38 IST)

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