Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Shoe throwing incident:Intruder brandishes shoe at Dwivedi, held


A day and a half after Baba Ramdev and his supporters were asked to leave the Ramlila Grounds, the Congress' routine press briefing on Monday was disrupted when a man, wearing a striped T-shirt and black trousers and brandishing a shoe, clambered onto the dais and threatened the party's media chairperson Janardan Dwivedi.

Sunil Kumar, who claimed to be a reporter from Rajasthan's Nav Sanchar Patrika, was later found to have been a former school teacher at an RSS-affiliated school in Jhunjhunu, beyond Jaipur.

A surprised Mr. Dwivedi looked up, rose in his chair and tried to grab the intruder. A Congress media cell staffer too rushed in to help, he was followed by a journalist. Then all hell broke loose with journalists joining the fray and TV cameramen rushing in to catch the action.

Minutes earlier, Mr. Kumar, who had been standing near the door, asked Mr. Dwivedi: “Aren't you happy that there is no political opposition left in the country?” Mr. Dwivedi turned to him, and said: “Nobody should be under the misapprehension that there is no political opposition.” But what caught everyone's attention was that the questioner was a stranger and his tone was mocking and aggressive.

Mr. Kumar was then led out and handed over to police — he is being questioned on his antecedents and motives.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh later said the BJP's response to the incident was so swift that it appeared as though the aggressor had been sent from there. BJP leader Rajnath Singh, however, was quick to condemn the incident that regardless of people's views, there was no justification for the bid to “attack” Mr. Dwivedi.

Mr. Dwivedi resumed the press briefing and the focus now was on the backing that the RSS and the BJP had given to the Baba Ramdev hunger strike. “I don't want to comment on what just happened,” he said, adding, “it was clearly a pre-planned action and proves what I have just been saying, that there are forces who want to destabilise this government.”

Held for breach of peace

Devesh K. Pandey reports:

The Delhi police arrested Mr. Kumar for alleged breach of peace and as a preventive measure under Sections 107 and 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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