Kejriwal barred from entering village amid protests

Greater Noida, Oct 3: Amid a protest by some 500 women, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Saturday barred from entering a village here to meet the family of a Muslim man lynched for allegedly eating beef.

Kejriwal and a few other AAP leaders were on their way to meet the family of Mohammad Akhlaq, 50, when over 500 Hindu women took to the streets and prevented journalists and politicians from reaching Bisara village.

Arvind Kejriwal

As some in the street protest hurled stones, Kejriwal's motorcade was diverted to a guest house, police said. The chief minister was not hurt.

Kejriwal tweeted that he and his colleagues were stopped by police and administration when central minister Mahesh Sharma and MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi were allowed to proceed to the village on Friday. "Why me? I am most peace loving," he said.

"I am being accused of doing politics. Yes, I am doing politics. But I am doing politics of unity and love. They are doing politics of hatred.

"We firmly believe that Hindus and Muslims have to stay united and not become vote banks. They want to divide people," the Aam Aadmi Party leader said.

Sharma, a Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Noida in Uttar Pradesh, and Owaisi met the family members of Akhlaq on Friday.

On Saturday, scores of Hindus took out a procession and blocked the entrance to the village, claiming the media and politicians were biased while covering the incident.

They said police were looking for young Hindu men with a view to arrest them.

Many among them said they had lived with Muslims and helped them build their shelters and mosque.

On Monday night, Akhlaq was allegedly dragged out of his house and lynched on charges of killing a cow, an animal venerated by Hindus. The family has denied the charge, saying they only ate mutton.

Amid continuing tensions, Kejriwal and his AAP colleagues decided to visit the village.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh wanted to know why they had been stopped by the administration.

Another party leader, Ashutosh, said: "We think the prime minister should come here and (ensure) that something like this never happens again."


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