Rajpura (Punjab): A BJP spokesperson, Bhupesh Aggarwal, claimed that he, along with other party leaders and workers, was allegedly “chased, roughed up and held hostage” for over three hours after a meeting in Rajpura. The leaders reportedly had to take shelter in a nearby house to save themselves from the unruly mob, though the police denied they were physically attacked. A police team, including two DSPs, was present with the BJP leaders, even as the Patiala DIG and SSP rushed to the town to escort them to safety.
Videos from Rajpura that went viral on social media purportedly showed angry farmer union members waving black flags and attacking a BJP supporter as the police tried to escort them to safety. According to Aggarwal, he had reached Rajpura to hold a meeting of party workers from Ghanaur, Rajpura and Sanaur constituencies. “I had apprised senior police officers about the meeting in advance. However, when we reached the venue, only a handful of cops were present there,” he said.
“I was told to finish the meeting within 30 minutes as farm union members had assembled outside the venue. As I came out, I was asked by the police to use a nearby lane to reach my vehicle. On the way, I along with our local president Vikas Sharma was attacked by farm union members with sticks. My personal gunman intervened to keep protesters at bay. We took shelter in a house to save ourselves,” claimed Aggarwal. “From there I called up senior officers, following which I was rescued after over 50 minutes of chaos,” he said.
“When we reached the house of another BJP leader for a separate meeting, the same mob reached there. They raised slogans and threatened us,” he claimed. DIG Vikramjeet Duggal and SSP Sandeep Garg reached the spot and rescued the leaders before taking them to Patiala. Meanwhile, farm union members, including women, claimed BJP leaders were only chased after their gunman pointed a weapon at them. “Despite our warnings, they continue to hold meetings and then blame us,” they said, claiming no one was beaten up.
Ghanaur DSP Jaswinder Tiwana said they were examining the claims of the BJP leader if he was thrashed, as there was ample security at the scene. “We escorted him out and asked him to leave after the first meeting. However, he insisted on holding another meeting, where farmers gathered and there was a standoff. We will take action after ascertaining the facts. As for now, there is no proof of any leader being roughed up,” Tiwana added.
BJP condemns attack
The BJP on Sunday condemned the attack on party workers in Rajpura, calling it “daylight murder” of democracy. BJP state president Ashwani Sharma and national general secretary Tarun Chugh, in separate statements, said BJP’s political rivals had been throttling the voice of the party under the garb of farmers. Slamming the state government for allowing such elements have a free run, Sharma asked CM Capt Amarinder Singh to give strict directions to the police to throw such elements behind the bars.