The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit on Thursday felicitated eight of its youth wing members who were arrested for vandalising Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s home on March 30. All of them are currently out on bail.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said that the eight were jailed while protesting against “anti-Hindu Kejriwal”.
Pictures of Gupta honouring the men – Chandrakant, Jitender Bisht, Sunny, Neeraj Dixit, Bablu Kumar, Pradeep Tiwari, Raju Singh and Naveen Kumar – were shared on social media.
“Welcomed these young revolutionaries in the state office today,” Gupta wrote in a tweet. “Each of our workers will always fight against the anti-Hindu forces.”
On Friday, the Aam Aadmi Party strongly criticised the BJP over the felicitation of the accused.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the BJP was felicitating those who were responsible for a “murderous attack on the CM’s house”.
“This proves that the BJP not only enlists goons but also promotes hooliganism,” he wrote in a tweet.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi said that the felicitation sends out a message to BJP workers that they will be rewarded if they indulge in “hooliganism and vandalism”.
At a press conference, she described BJP as a “party of criminals” and said the attack on Kejriwal’s home was not an isolated incident.
“By praising these goons, the BJP has exposed its real face before the entire nation,” Atishi added. “They have clearly shown the world the kind of dirty politics and powerplay the party wishes to indulge in, and that it respects and enables criminals and violence in the party.”
On March 30, a group of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha workers, led by the outfit’s president and BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, had held protests outside Kejriwal’s home. They sought an apology from the Delhi chief minister for his remarks about the The Kashmir Files film.
The Aam Aadmi Party had alleged that BJP members broke CCTV cameras and security barriers at Kejriwal’s home despite Delhi Police officers being present at the scene.
A day after the attack, the police said they have arrested eight members of the outfit in connection with the vandalism based on the CCTV footage.
On April 6, the youth wing members were denied bail by a Delhi court that had said that the accused men had intentionally exceeded their fundamental right to protest peacefully. They had then moved to the Delhi High Court, which on April 14 granted them bail on a surety bond of Rs 35,000, according to The Indian Express.