GURUGRAM: Eighteen people have been arrested in connection with a school bus that was attacked on Wednesday during protests against Padmaavat. Those arrested were allegedly part of the mob that pelted stones on the bus which carried school children.
The arrested men are likely to be produced before a local court in Gurugram. The bus was carrying students of GD Goenka World School. Teachers and staff were also travelling on the bus when a violent mob protesting against Padmaavat threw stones on it.
Haryana Minister Ram Bilas Sharma had earlier said that authorities had not expected that such an incident will take place. "It is a worrying incident, and I am sure there will be a solution to this whole issue today," he said.
Recalling the incident, the bus conductor had said that protesters were pelting stones on cars and clashing with police. "We tried to navigate safely but got caught in the violence, fortunately we were able to ensure safety of children which was our priority," the bus conductor said.
Meanwhile, the Rajput Karni Sena has denied its role in the stone pelting. "Rajputs can never even think of attacking a school bus. This is a plot being created by politicians, who wish to weaken our peaceful protest." Karni Sena spokesperson Vijendra Singh said.
"We have a history of leading from the front. We have never run away...," he said, adding those who pelted stones were not known to anyone "and hence Karni Sena was being blamed".
"No one saw who attacked the bus and yet we were blamed. Is there any logic in this immediate judgement?" Singh asked.
"Rajputs can never engage in violence with the innocent. They can never throw stones. We strongly deny our role in any such episode," he claimed.
The Karni Sena has been protesting vociferously against and has demanded a ban on Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmaavat", which they say distorts history.