National

Vigilantes should be treated as terrorists: Agnivesh

New Delhi, Aug 3 (PTI): | Publish Date: 8/4/2018 3:50:03 AM IST

Social activist Swami Agnivesh, who was assaulted allegedly by members of saffron groups in Jharkhand last month, has demanded that those accused in mob lynching cases be treated as “terrorists” and tried under the counter-terror law UAPA. 

Alleging that police in Jharkhand was taking no action regarding the case of assault on him at Pakur on July 17, he said he will file a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a SIT probe into the entire incident.
“Even after 15 days, no arrest has been made despite the accused being identified as members of saffron outfits including BJP. It is clear the accused assaulted me on orders from higher level. The BJP government at the Centre and in Jharkhand are involved in it,” he alleged.
Agnivesh said he will tour several parts of Kerala besides Ludhiana and Saharanpur later this month to consolidate protests against mob lynchings and atrocities on Dalits, minorities and tribals. “Those who lynch people on any ground are nothing but terrorists and must be treated as such. Provisions of UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) should be invoked against all such elements and outfits,” he said.
Agnivesh expressed gratitude towards all those including former Congress president Sonia Gandhi who stood with him at his hour of crisis but said he was “deeply pained” by the silence of leaders of the BJP and the RSS over the assault on him. 
The 79-year-old activist, known for his movement against bonded labour and untouchability, was attacked by the mob at Pakur before he was to attend a protest by tribals against alleged violation of their rights and land acquisition at Littipada. His attackers charged him of speaking against Hindus. 
Agnivesh claimed that one reason behind attack on him could be his support to the tribals who are opposing acquisition of their land for the corporates, by the Jharkhand government.
 

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