Unaware of clashes in Nagpur, says Kejriwal

November 7th, 2011 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) A day after India Against Corruption leader Arvind Kejriwal was greeted with black flags, heckled and booed at a meeting in Nagpur, he said Monday that he was not aware of any clashes at the venue.

The trouble reportedly erupted after some activists, belonging to Ghantanad Sanstha, raised strong objections to Kejriwal making anti-government statements during the course of his speech at Nagpur’s Vasantrao Deshpande Auditorium.

In a statement issued here, Kejriwal said he was informed about some protesters with black flags outside the meeting venue, but was later told that they had been taken away by police.

“Today in the morning, I have come to know from newspapers that those protesting against me outside the hall were chased and assaulted by some people sitting in the audience. Obviously, I did not come to know about these developments because all this was happening outside the hall,” Kejriwal said in the statement issued by India Against Corruption.

“Almost at the end of the programme, I was told by one of the organisers that some people were standing outside the hall with black flags protesting against me. I requested him to call them inside on the stage,” the statement said.

“That person came back after a while and told me that the police had taken them away,” he said.

The activist said he was in favour of talking with the protesters and condemned the violence that occurred.

“The pictures in the newspapers are troublesome. Personally, I am deeply pained to read this. I strongly condemn the violence on protesters. Everyone has a right to protest,” he said.

Kejriwal also requested supporters not to indulge in such acts again.

“I also urge those friends who assaulted the protesters not to do this in future. Such violence is not only against the basic ethos and philosophy of the movement but would also weaken the movement,” he said.

“Anna keeps saying - ‘hamare andar apmaan sehne ki shakti honi chahiye. Hamen bade se badi kurbani ke liye tayyar rehna hai’ (we must have the capacity to take insult, and be prepared for the biggest sacrifices). Such acts of violence are contrary to this philosophy,” he added.

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