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Statement of ICWM on the Horrific Assault on Swami Agnivesh in Jarkhand

The Indian Christian Women’s Movement strongly condemns the attack and

brutal beating up of the 79 year old Swami Agnivesh by a large crowd of

lumpen elements at Pakur in Jharkhand.


We are also shocked at the comment of Jharkhand BJP Spokesperson P Shahdeo

that he was not surprised at the attack because of the Swami’s “track

record”.


The track record of Swami Agnivesh is one of spreading peace and working

for the rights of the poor. He was in Pakur to attend a function with the

Pahariya tribe.


The attack on Swamiji appeared well planned as a crowd of protestors

gathered outside his hotel and attacked him as soon as he emerged from the

hotel after a press conference. They were apparently angered by what he

said. They beat him in the style of mob lynching that has become the trade

mark of the promoters of the Hindutva cultural hegemony.


That there were no police around despite Swamiji asking for police

protection raises several questions.


Swami Agnivesh, tried on different occasions to convey the true meaning of

Hinduism, expressed dissent against the rising intolerance in the country,

rejecting the brand of Hindutva that has spawned hate and divisiveness in

India.


All along it has been attacks on Muslims, Dalits, Christians and other

minorities, now a senior Hindu Swami has been attacked. One wonders if

anyone is safe in this country! Our fundamental right to freedom of speech

is being substantially eroded by the successive attacks on peaceful loving

citizens just because they differ in ideology, way of life or religious

affiliation.


As concerned citizens we demand that the Prime Minister take immediate

action to rein in the lumpen elements and put an end to the violence that

is continually being carried out in the different parts of the country.


We stand in solidarity with Swami Agnivesh and wish him a speedy recovery

from the injuries sustained in this horrendous attack.


We demand that all the guilty be tried and adequately punished for this

heinous crime of beating up a senior man of peace.

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