‘Agnipath’ protests: Sanjay Jaiswal, president of the Bihar BJP, claimed to have identified many of the attackers who were “not army aspirants.”
Patna: According to the Press Trust of India (PTI), the residence of Bihar BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal in Bettiah town was vandalized on Friday amid protests against the Agnipath army recruitment plan, the second such occurrence in the state that day.
Earlier in the day, a mob invaded the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi in the same town in Paschim Champaran district, even though the senior BJP leader was in Patna.
Mr Jaiswal, the local MP, told reporters in Bettiah that he had identified many of the assailants, who were “not army aspirants,” and that they had come with the purpose of “blowing up” the structure.
“My home was targeted as part of a planned conspiracy. Stones were thrown, and effort was made to fire it with diesel. The mob also left behind a cylinder bomb (a trap consisting of LPG cylinders) with the explicit goal of blowing up the structure,” he said.
Mr Jaiswal, who has been a harsh critic of the Nitish Kumar government in the state while being an alliance partner, lamented the administration’s “lack of proper attentiveness.”
“My house, on the other hand, has CCTV cameras installed. The government is looking into issues and will hopefully take proper action. I was inside the house and recognized at least 100 of the attackers. I should mention that none of them were army recruits,” Mr Jaiswal stated without more elaboration.
A mob had previously vandalized Ms Devi’s residence in town while she was away in Patna, as reported by PTI.
“It’s the work of opposition-backed thugs. Dissatisfied students would not target BJP officials,” Ms Devi made a claim, citing the vandalism of a petrol pump owned by Mr Jaiswal’s close cousin.
Notably, the vehicle of BJP MLA Vinay Bihari was also attacked during the day in neighboring Motihari town.
The MLA was unharmed, but the car was severely damaged. Protesting mobs also set fire to the BJP office in the Madhepura district. The previous day, the party’s office in Nawada was set on fire, and an MLA, Aruna Devi, was hurt when her car was bombarded with stones.
Mr Jaiswal blamed the agitation on rumors about a new system for armed forces recruiting that “provides youngsters with many options since upon discharge they will be armed with skills acquired during military training.”
“It has already been announced that they will be given preference in central paramilitary force recruitment. Many states have offered the same in law enforcement. Bihar already has a SAP (special armed police) system that includes ex-servicemen. Similar systems have existed in military forces all throughout the world. The Short Services Commission exists in India as well,” Mr. Jaiswal stated.