Devious plots: Kanhaiya Kumar
CPI leader and former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar alleged on Thursday that the BJP was out to derail his ongoing protest yatra in Bihar against the new citizenship regime to create a perception that the people of the state were in favour of the black laws and policies of the Centre.
Kanhaiya’s Jana-Gana-Mana Yatra, which began on January 30 from Mahatma Gandhi’s Bhitiharwa Ashram in West Champaran district, has been attacked seven times, causing injuries to many people and damage to vehicles.
“Our interactions with the administration and our own information have revealed that the attacks have been orchestrated by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, which is associated with the BJP. The people involved have direct relations with the BJP,” Kanhaiya told The Telegraph.
He said the BJP wanted to create a narrative that the people were attacking the yatra because they were against it and favoured the CAA-NPR-NRC. The CPI leader pointed out the attackers were portraying themselves as locals with the intention to create an environment of fear to keep the public away from the yatra. “Had the local people been against us or the yatra, lakhs of them would not have attended our rallies. In fact, our movement would have become impossible had the local people been opposed to us. These are a handful of mischievous elements who are working on the directions of those in power, especially BJP,” Kanhaiya said.
The BJP rejected Kanhaiya’s allegations. BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said: “Kanhaiya is misquoting the name of the BJP to play politics. The Left has been wiped out of Bihar and the Leftists are riding on the shoulders of Kanhaiya to revive their politics, but they are going to fail miserably. The anti-BJP propaganda of the Leftists won’t succeed in Bihar.”
Kanhaiya said the worst of the seven attacks happened at Chhapra and Supaul.
“A driver’s hand got fractured at Kopagaon in Chhapra, while another driver suffered injuries in his face at Supaul. Many others were injured in stone pelting and some vehicles were also damaged. One thing is clear — the attackers want to hurt us,” Kanhaiya said.
However, he refused to accuse the administration of lapses. “Our yatra’s schedule is with the administration. Its people are present with us. Bodyguards are also there. But the morale of the attackers seems to be high, obviously because the BJP is part of the government here.”
Bihar police officers corroborated Kanhaiya’s allegations of attack but refused to identify the perpetrators.
Saran SP Harkishore Rai said: “The attackers hurled stones when the yatra was entering Chhapra town and fled. They are yet to be identified. However, the people we had taken into preventive custody owed allegiance to fringe Hindu outfits. I will have to check their names.”
Police officers in Supaul said Kanhaiya’s yatra was attacked in a locality known to be inhabited by people owing allegiance to Hindutva organisations. “We will reveal names only after the probe is over,” a senior police officer in Supaul said.