New Delhi: In a shocking development, key Team Anna member and noted RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal was on Tuesday attacked by a youth with a slipper while he was going to attend a programme in Lucknow as part of their anti-graft campaign, nearly a week after the assault on another colleague Prashant Bhushan.
The youth identified as Jitendra Pathak of Jalaun district hurled the slipper on Kejriwal when he was about to reach the dais at Jhulelal park.
He was later caught by volunteers and detained by the police.
Team Anna core committee member Sanjay Singh told reporters that the youth threw a `chappal` on Kejriwal, who had "pardoned him".
The youth accused Kejriwal of misleading people on the issue of corruption. He claimed that he was not associated with any party.
When quizzed by reporters as to why he attacked Kejriwal, he said, “He (Kejriwal) and his team have been misleading the country on the issue of corruption. I have hit him because he didn’t say anything on corruption during his meeting in Banda.”
On October 12, Bhushan was attacked by members of a right-wing group in his Supreme Court Chambers allegedly over his remarks advocating plebiscite in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Team Anna has strongly condemned the attack on Kejriwal.
"Attacks against Team Anna will not deter us from keeping up the crusade of voter awareness. We are on mission mode for Jan Lokpal Bill," prominent Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said.
She said the incident exposed that there can be a connection between the attack on Prashant Bhushan and that on
Bedi also demanded an independent probe into the incident.
Another key Team Anna member Medha Patkar said she was shocked "because this cannot happen to a person who has really worked to wipe out corruption.”
BJP also termed the attack on Kejriwal as "most unfortunate", saying such acts are against the basic tenets of democracy.
"This attack is most unfortunate. Such acts are against the basic tenets of democracy. But who is behind this? Who all are angry with Kejriwal? All these things should be fully investigated. Ever since he has been raising his voice against corruption, some people have been antagonised," BJP
spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
BJP insisted there has been a concerted attempt to tarnish the image of Team Anna.
The opposition also hit out at the BSP-led Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh for "failing" to give adequate
protection to Kejriwal, knowing that he is under threat.