New Delhi: BJP workers and police battled outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence today during a protest against Mr Kejriwal’s comments on the recently released controversial film “The Kashmir Files.” Mr Kejriwal has been accused by the ruling party’s leaders of mocking the “genocide” of Kashmiri Hindus shown in the film. Manish Sisodia, a senior AAP leader who spoke to the media shortly after the incident, made wild accusations, claiming that the BJP wants to “kill” Mr Kejriwal because they are unable to defeat him electorally. Politics is only an excuse, he argued, and this is a clear criminal case.
“In the presence of the police, BJP thugs arrived at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence today. They are attempting to assassinate him since they have been unable to defeat him in elections “he says.
Several senior Aam Aadmi Party leaders have accused the Delhi police of facilitating vandalism and violence by allowing BJP leaders and workers to reach the Chief Minister’s house.
At the barrier set up outside the Chief Minister’s residence, a huge number of protesters carrying BJP flags and posters condemning “insult” to Kashmiri Pandits clashed with the police. Several of them can be seen attempting to breach the security barrier.
Mr Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister, claimed on Twitter that “antisocial” people broke CCTV cameras and security barricades at Mr Kejriwal’s residence. He also mentioned that the boom barriers at the entry were broken. He claimed the culprits were “BJP goons” who were aided by the Delhi police in another tweet.
The police have said that around 150-200 protestors of BJP Yuva Morcha reached the CM’s residence around 11:30 in the morning to protest against his remarks on ‘The Kashmir Files’ in the Delhi assembly. The police claim that they “immediately” removed them from the spot and detained around 70 people. Legal action is being initiated, they said.
“At around 1 pm, some of the protestors breached two barricades and reached outside CM House where they created ruckus, shouted slogans etc. They were carrying a small box of paint from which they threw paint outside the door. In the imbroglio, a boom barrier arm is also found vandalised as also a CCTV camera,” a release from the police said.
Responding to Delhi BJP legislators’ demand to declare the movie “The Kashmir Files” tax-free in the national capital, Arvind Kejriwal had quipped that it should be put up on the free video sharing platform YouTube.
“They are saying make The Kashmir Files tax-free. Well, put it on YouTube it will be free,” said Mr Kejriwal amid laughter and thumping of desks by Delhi assembly members.
“Why are you asking us to make it tax-free. If you are so keen, ask Vivek Agnihotri to put it on YouTube, it will all be free. Everyone will be able to see it in a day. Where is the need to make it tax-free,” he added.
The feature film is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from the Kashmir valley during the height of terrorism, and has garnered unprecedented government support, including high praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The controversial film has become a huge box office success, with over 300 crore in receipts thanks to massive government support and tax concessions from BJP-ruled states throughout the country. It’s also gotten a lot of flak because the government is putting its weight behind a commercial film for the first time. Furthermore, due to the sensitive political nature of the film and claims of inaccuracy/deliberate fabrication of facts, the government has been accused of engaging in propaganda.
The Centre has offered directorial security cover of the ‘Y’ security to the film director Vivek Agnihotri with CRPF cover pan India.
The movie, which had released in theatres on March 11, stars Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty, Pallavi Joshi, Darshan Kumaar, and others.
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