Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Friday blamed the Students Federation of India (SFI) for inciting violence in Shimla, resulting in a police raid on its office and arrest of its activists.
"A SFI delegation came to meet me in my office over its demands. After they (SFI members) left the office, they started pelting stones at police," the chief minister informed the Assembly.
Raising the issue after question hour, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Suresh Bhardwaj said SFI activists were beaten up by police (on Wednesday) and some of them received injuries during their protest outside the assembly against fee hike.
The chief minister said when they came to meet him they were carrying rucksacks filled with stones and flags.
"There was a clash (between SFI activists and police) and the CPI-M office is located near the spot. Three activists entered into the office after the clash. Police entered into the CPI-M office to arrest them," he said.
"We have cordial relations with the CPI-M. It's our sister party," he said.
The chief minister said that nobody was above the law. "If anyone breaks the law, action will be initiated as per the law."
Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said it was sad that the office of a political party was attacked.
"There should be no attack on any party's office, be it the BJP or the CPI-M or the Congress," he said.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) on Friday submitted a memorandum to Governor Kalyan Singh, saying the students were chased and mercilessly beaten up.
"Female students too were targeted and given a severe beating. Over 20 students were hurt, some of them were serious and were denied medical treatment," it said.
The CPI-M, which demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident, said police broke open the door of its state committee office, damaged furniture and arrested more than a dozen people, including SFI president Sivadasan.
"Those arrested were beaten up in police custody," a CPI-M statement said. It demanded their release.