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'Ready to face not only slippers, but even bullets'

Last updated on: October 18, 2011 23:20 IST

Slipper hurled at Arvind Kejriwal during public meet

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Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal was on Tuesday attacked by a youth with a slipper while he was going to attend a programme in Lucknow as part of the anti-graft campaign.

The youth, identified as Jitendra Pathak of Jalaun district, hurled the slipper at Kejriwal when the RTI activist was about to reach the dais at Jhulelal park.

He was later caught by volunteers and detained by the police.

Team Anna core committee member Sanjay Singh told reporters that the youth threw a slipper at Kejriwal.

The youth accused Kejriwal of misleading people on the issue of corruption. He also claimed that he was not associated with any political party.


Image: Arvind Kejriwal after the attack

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Slipper hurled at Arvind Kejriwal

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Incidentally, Kejriwal is currently in Lucknow to kick-start a campaign against the Congress before the assembly elections in the state next year.

This incident comes days after Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan was attacked in his chamber over his comments on Kashmir.

On October 12, Bhushan was attacked by members of a right-wing group in his Supreme Court chambers, allegedly over his remarks advocating plebiscite in Kashmir.

Team Anna and political parties condemned the attack as unacceptable and unfortunate.


Image: A TV grab of the attack on Prashant Bhushan

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'We are ready to face not only slippers, but even bullets'

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Reacting to the attack on his close aide, Hazare, who has been on a maun vrat (vow of silence) in his native village Ralegan Siddhi, said he is planning a trip to Uttar Pradesh to make the people aware of corruption.

"It is very unfortunate. We are ready to face not only slippers, but even bullets. I will go to Lucknow to spread awareness," Hazare wrote on a piece of paper.

Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party joined Team Anna in slamming the attack, which was also condemned by the Union government.

"We condemn it. We oppose it. We are against an attack on anybody," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said, adding that his party too was against corruption.


Image: Arvind Kejriwal with Anna Hazare

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'Who is angry with Kejriwal?'

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BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain termed the attack as "most unfortunate", saying such acts are against the basic tenets of democracy.

"This attack is most unfortunate. Such acts are against the basic tenets of democracy. But who is behind this? Who is angry with Kejriwal? All these things should be fully investigated. Ever since he has been raising his voice against corruption, some people have been antagonised," he said.

Kiran Bedi, a prominent member of Team Anna, said attacks against their group will not deter them from keeping up their crusade. "We are on mission for the Jan Lokpal Bill," she said.

Bedi said there could be a possible connection between the attack on Bhushan last week and the one on Kejriwal.

She demanded an independent probe into the incident.


Image: Kiran Bedi

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'It's the darkest phase of the rule of law'

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Medha Patkar, another key Team Anna member, said she was shocked "because this cannot happen to a person who has really worked to wipe out corruption".

"I really demand security, if Kejriwal agrees to that. I demand immediate action by the local police," she said.

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev said it was unfortunate to see serial attacks on social activists  who are raising people's concern and issues of national interest.

"It's the darkest phase of the rule of law. It's the government's duty to protect whistle-blowers and activists," he said, adding that some "sponsored elements and frustrated culprits" were behind these attacks.


Image: Baba Ramdev

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