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Punched by teen, Kejriwal scurries

New Delhi, April 4: Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal was punched by a 19-year-old youth during a road show in Dakshinpuri, south Delhi.

The accused, Abdul Wahid, was beaten up by AAP supporters despite appeals from Kejriwal to spare him.

The incident happened when Kejriwal’s cavalcade stopped for the leader to shake hands with his supporters. Wahid punched Kejriwal on his back and tried to slap him.

Appealing for calm, Kejriwal asked his supporters not to indulge in any violence. “Some people are ready to go to any extent to become Prime Minister. Let them do whatever they are doing. Our religion teaches us non-violence. If we raise our hands, this movement will come to an end,” Kejriwal said. But he abruptly cancelled his road show.

The AAP claims that Wahid was hired for the attack. “There were many eyewitnesses who have heard him say that he was paid Rs 25,000 by some people to attack Kejriwal. It is for police to carry out further investigation. We have not registered any complaint against anyone,” party spokesperson Nagender Sharma said.

However, a police officer suggested that Wahid was an AAP worker. “Wahid had been waiting to meet Kejriwal but AAP workers did not let him do so. He still managed to jostle his way to Kejriwal to garland him and tried to slap him in anger,” said a senior police officer of Ambedkar Nagar police station, where the youth has been detained.

PTI reported that Wahid told the investigators he was an AAP worker. Wahid works as an assistant to a property dealer and lives in Batla House in Okhla, in south Delhi.

The BJP said it had nothing to with the attack.

This is not the first time Kejriwal or his colleagues have come under attack. On March 28, Kejriwal was attacked by a man who claimed to be a supporter of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare.

On March 8, a man smeared ink on AAP leader Yogendra Yadav’s face at Jantar Mantar during an event to mark Women’s Day.

More recently, in Varanasi, eggs were thrown at Kejriwal’s cavalcade.