Shoe attack pre-planned, shows RSS, BJP’s desperation: Congress (Third Lead)June 6th, 2011 - 10:09 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) A man claiming to work with a Rajasthan-based magazine threatened Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi with a shoe at a press briefing here Monday. Dweivedi dubbed it as a pre-planned attack, while his colleague Manish Tewari said it was a sign of the desperation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The man, who was restrained, later identified himself as Sunil Kumar and said he works with Nav Sanchar Patrika, a magazine based in Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan. But, a quick investigation found that he was never a journalist, and the journal for which he claimed to be working folded up five-six months back.
“Sunil Kumar had never worked here at Nav Sanchar Patrika,” Mukesh S. Mond, the editor of the now defunct publication, told IANS. “We did not issue him a press card.”
Dwivedi was during a press briefing slamming yoga guru Ramdev and the opposition BJP at the Congress headquarters here when the incident took place in the full view of TV cameras.
Kumar, 41, wearing a red-blue striped T-shirt, after asking a question came very near to the dais where Dwivedi and Tewari were sitting. He took off his shoe and then waved it at Dwivedi. But Dwivedi pushed him away.
Soon a security guard caught Kumar and journalists present also pounced on him and roughed him up. He was then whisked out of the hall by security men.
Afterwards he was put in a vehicle and was taken to the Tughlak Road police station for questioning. “We are investigating the matter and are yet to register a case,” a senior police officer told IANS.
The shoe threat incident, however, did not stop the Congress leader from his press briefing. He described the attempt to hit him with the shoe as “pre-planned”.
Dwivedi said the man intentionally asked a pro-Congress question.
Minutes before inching close to the dais, Kumar had asked him whether the Congress was happy that it did not have any strong opposition, with the BJP pushed to the margins.
The Congress leader answered him by saying that no one should have this misunderstanding that the Congress does not have any opposition.
“He knew that I was talking about people who are creating instability in the country. This attack was sponsored,” he told the reporters before ending his press conference.
Mond, the editor of Nav Sanchar Patrika in Rajasthan, said Kumar used to teach English at a private academy but had left seven month earlier.
The Nav Sanchar Patrika was a fortnightly house journal of Jhunjhunu-based Sainik Academy, a coaching institute, but it stopped publication last year.
Monday’s incident is the latest in a string of shoe-related assaults on public figures in India.
This is the second incident to happen at the Congress headquarters at 24 Akbar Road in New Delhi. On April 7, 2009, Sikh journalist Jarnail Singh, from Hindi daily Dainik Jagran, lobbed a shoe at union Home Minister P. Chidambaram who was addressing a press conference there. However, the shoe did not hit the minister.
Reacting to Monday’s incident, Tewari said the man could be with the RSS.
“I wouldn’t really put it past that when the investigations take place that the person eventually emerges to be an RSS or a BJP activist because these tactics are not alien to the way they do their politics,” he said.
“It was an orchestrated, pre-mediated attack. And the obvious reason for doing this is because of an element of frustration and desperation in the RSS and the BJP,” Tewari added.
Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh also alluded to the same thing. “All this is the endeavour of the RSS-BJP combine, who believe in the act of violence, and what just now we have seen is the beginning of the fight of the Congress party against these fundamentalist violent organisations.”
He heaped praises on Dwivedi. “He was extremely cool, calm and collected and he continued with the press conference after that. I compliment him for the way he handled the situation.”
Tom Vadakkan, secretary of the Congress media department, who went to the police station, told the dozens of media persons who had collected that the man was very suspicious.
“This person is quite suspicious. He is changing his name again and again. He has not been seen at briefings before. He is changing his statements also. The FIR has been lodged on behalf of the Congress. We want the police to get to the bottom of the story,” he added.
The BJP also deplored the shoe attack.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “We don’t approve it. It is condemnable.”
“Whatever be the anger, whatever be the pain and this government and Congress party has given a lot of pain to the people of this country, but this is not the right approach,” Prasad said.
- 'Shoe attacker is not a journalist' - Jun 06, 2011
- Shoe attack bid shows desperation in RSS, BJP: Congress (Second Lead) - Jun 06, 2011
- Shoe attack: Man threatens Congress leader (Lead) - Jun 06, 2011
- Shoe attack bid accused sent to judicial custody - Jun 07, 2011
- BJP condemns shoe attack bid - Jun 06, 2011
- Court seeks proof on plea against Digvijay Singh - Apr 03, 2012
- Court reserves order on lodging case against Digvijay - Mar 23, 2012
- Throwing footwear: A trend to showcase anger - Oct 18, 2011
- Shoes thrown at others, Pawar first to be assaulted (Timeline) - Nov 24, 2011
- Court dismisses case against Digvijay Singh - Apr 26, 2012
- RSS activities should be monitored, says Congress - Oct 27, 2010
- Shoe attacks started with George Bush - Jun 06, 2011
- Ramesh wipes shoe with khadi garland, Congress fumes - Jul 26, 2011
- RSS, Digvijay trade barbs over photograph - Jan 06, 2012
- Advani's yatra an attempt to fast-forward 2014 polls: Congress - Oct 10, 2011
Tags: bharatiya janata party, bjp, colleague, congress leader, dais, defunct publication, desperation, guru ramdev, jhunjhunu, mukesh, New Delhi, police officer, police station, rashtriya swayamsevak sangh, sanchar, security guard, security men, t shirt, tv cameras, yoga guru