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Vandalism, Violence Outside Arvind Kejriwal’s Home Amid BJP Protests


New Delhi:

BJP workers today clashed with police outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a protest against Mr Kejriwal’s remarks on the recently released controversial film ‘The Kashmir Files’. BJP leaders accused Mr Kejriwal of ridiculing the “massacre” of Kashmir Hindus. Several senior leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party have accused Delhi police of facilitating vandalism and violence by allowing BJP leaders and workers to reach the Chief Minister’s house.

Visuals from the scene showed a large group of people carrying BJP flags and banners condemning “insults” against Kashmir Pandits clashing with police at a barricade parked outside the Chief Minister’s residence. Many of them can be seen trying to jump through security fences.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Twitter that “antisocial” elements broke CCTV cameras and security barriers at Mr Kejriwal’s home. They also broke the boom barrier at the entrance, he added. In another tweet, he claimed the perpetrators were “BJP bad guys” aided by Delhi police.

Police said that about 150-200 BJP Yuva Morcha protesters arrived at the CM’s residence around 11:30am to protest his statement on ‘The Kashmir Files’ at a Delhi rally. Police claimed they “immediately” removed them from the scene and detained about 70 people. Legal action is underway, they said.

“At about 1pm, some protesters broke two barriers and reached outside CM House where they made a fuss, shouted slogans etc. They brought small boxes of paint from which they threw paint out the door. Inside imbroglio, the explosion of the barrier arm was also found to be damaged as were the CCTV cameras, “a police statement said.

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Responding to a request by Delhi BJP drafters to declare the film “The Kashmir Files” tax -free in the capital, Arvind Kejriwal joked that it should be placed on YouTube’s free video sharing platform.

“They said to make The Kashmir Files tax-free. Well, put it on YouTube it will be free,” Mr Kejriwal said amid laughter and table slapping by Delhi assembly members.

“Why are you asking us to make it tax -free. If you are very interested, ask Vivek Agnihotri to put it on YouTube, it will all be free. Everyone will be able to see it within a day. Where necessary make it tax -free,” he added.

The feature film, which garnered unprecedented government support including high praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is based on the migration of Kashmir Hindus from the Kashmir valley during the height of the militancy.

With encouraging government support and tax relief from BJP-ruled states across the country, the controversial film has become a box office success and raced to Rs 300 crore in collection. It also received scathing criticism as it was unprecedented for the government to put its interests behind a commercial film. Moreover, the politically sensitive nature of the film and allegations of inaccuracy/deliberate misrepresentation of facts have led to allegations of government involvement in propaganda.

The center has provided category ‘Y’ security coverage to director Vivek Agnihotri with CRPF India cover.

The film, which was screened in cinemas on March 11, starred Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakraborty, Pallavi Joshi, Darshan Kumar, and others.

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