Watch: Hindu Sena activists tried to manhandle Sitaram Yechury, arrested

“We will not be cowed down by any attempts of Sangh’s goondagardi to silence us”

NEW DELHI: Two members of a fringe Hindutva outfit barged into the CPI(M) headquarters here and tried to “manhandle” party general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta said the two men, who entered the CPI(M) office posing as journalists, wanted to “express their anger” over the Left party’s alleged criticism of the Army in an editorial in its mouthpiece, People’s Democracy.

The incident took place as Yechury was about to enter the Central Committee Hall on the first floor of AK Gopalan Bhavan, the CPI(M) headquarters, to address the media on the conclusion of the party’s two-day politburo meeting here.

The two men, Pawan Kumar Kaul (30) and Upender Kumar (24), shouting “CPI(M) murdabad (down with CPI-M)” and “Hindu Sena zindabad (long live Hindu Sena)” slogans, tried to get close to Yechury. Yehcury fell down but did not sustain any injuries.

Kaul and Kumar told the police that they were associated with the Hindu Sena.

Kaul worked as the driver of a city-based lawyer, while Kumar was a cook at the canteen of a private hospital, the police said.

“They tried to manhandle Comrade Yechury, but we came in their way and he was safe,” a CPI(M) worker said.

The two men were thrashed by the party workers before being handed over to the police.

The Left party blamed the RSS for the incident.

Speaking to reporters, Yechury said the two men would have got “an adequate response” had they reached close enough to manhandle him.

“Without violence, without terror, the RSS has never been able to spread its political influence. These tactics have been answered by the people of India in the past and we will give them an answer again,” he said in a video message.

On Twitter, the Left leader wrote, “We will not be cowed down by any attempts of Sangh’s goondagardi to silence us. This is a battle for the soul of India, which we will win (sic).”

The police said they had received a complaint from the CPI(M) regarding the incident and the matter was being probed.

The two men were subsequently put under arrest, the police said, adding that they were booked under sections 451 (house-trespass) and 504 (intentional insult) of the IPC.

Vijayan has been facing flak from right-wing outfits for his criticism of the Centre’s recent notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle at the animal markets for the purpose of slaughter.

Kerala has witnessed numerous incidents of political violence involving the workers of the CPI(M) and BJP-RSS in the recent past.

Top opposition leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav and CPI national secretary D Raja, condemned the incident and expressed solidarity with Yechury, sources in the CPI(M) said.