THE WAR of words in Delhi over Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Remarks on the film, The Kashmir Files, led to dramatic scenes outside his residence on Wednesday when nearly 200 protesters from the BJP opposition youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), broke through the barricades of the police and slammed the main door, prompting AAP to accuse them of “attempting to kill” the CM.
BJYM National Chairman and Lok Sabha MP Tejaswi Surya led the protesters, many of whom were captured by CCTV breaking the boom barrier, kicking and banging the main gate before throwing red paint on it. DCP (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi said a CCTV camera was also damaged.
Delhi police have registered an FIR against “unidentified persons” and teams have been formed to nab the accused, Kalsi said. Late Wednesday night, five men were arrested across Delhi in connection with the vandalism.
Kejriwal was not at home, but his family members were present at the protest, AAP leaders said.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “BJP failed to stop Kejriwalji and failed to defeat him, so they want to eliminate him. They are trying to kill him… The attack was a planned plot to kill him, the country will not tolerate it… This is criminal, not political… After their defeat in Punjab, they (the BJP) are shaken.
— Raghav Chadha (@raghav_chadha) March 30, 2022
The BJYM had organized the protest in the form of a march from IP College to Kejriwal’s residence against his remarks on detaxing ‘The Kashmir Files’ in Delhi.
Speaking at the Assembly on March 24, the Chief Minister had said that while BJP workers promoted the film and filmmakers made millions, the suffering of Kashmiri pundits on which it is based had been exploited. He also called the film “jhooti (fake)”, which was described by the BJP as an “insult” to the Kashmiri Pandit community.
Released on March 11, “The Kashmir Files” played to packed houses despite being criticized for presenting a one-sided account of events. The film has been endorsed by a number of Union ministers and granted tax-exempt status by almost all BJP-ruled states, with some even granting permission to government employees to watch it.
Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the film had shaken “the whole ecosystem” which claims to be the torchbearer for free speech but does not want the truth told.
As the BJP has been protesting against Kejriwal for a week, this is the first time Bengaluru MP Surya has joined the protest. At a press conference at the BJP headquarters later, Surya said, “We staged a protest outside Kejriwal’s residence against his comments, which sought to downplay the pain of the Kashmiri Pandit community and hurt the feelings of the entire Hindu community… Our protests will continue. until he unconditionally apologizes for it.
Responding to Sisodia’s allegations, Delhi BJP spokesman Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga said, “If opposing the humiliation of Kashmiri Hindus is called anti-social, then we are anti-social. If asking for an apology for Kejriwal’s statement on the Kashmir Hindu Genocide is anti-social, then yes, we are anti-social elements.
During the protest, CCTV footage showed a security official trying to stop the crowd but becoming outnumbered. Surya is visible in the clip but does not participate in the vandalism.
“They were very aggressive and tried to break down the front door and enter the premises but were arrested. They tried to manhandle us but the police intervened and our security commandos stopped them. also tried to throw paint at us and at the police,” a member of the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Detailing the sequence of events, DCP Kalsi said, “Today at 11.30 a.m. a dharna was thrown by about 150-200 BJYM protesters in front of the CM residence… At around 1 p.m. some of the protesters broke through two barricades and reached outside the CM’s house where they created a ruckus, shouted slogans.
Kalsi said: “They were carrying a small can of paint from which they threw paint at the door. In the imbroglio, a barrier arm was also found vandalized as well as a CCTV camera. The police team immediately evacuated them from the scene and arrested about 70 people. Legal action is underway. »
The PCD said the accusation made by Sisodia against the police was “false”. “Strong measures have been put in place against the demonstrators. However, some 15 to 20 protesters managed to reach the Flag Staff road and were immediately expelled,” he said.
CCTV cameras outside Delhi’s CM House were also damaged during a BJP protest in December 2020.