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A professor of the Banaras Hindu University was arrested on Thursday for allegedly instigating BJP workers to attack Aam Aadmi Party leader Somnath Bharti at Assi Ghat in Varanasi last week.
Kaushal Kishore Mishra, faculty member at the Department of Political Science at BHU — the largest residential university in Asia — was, however, released soon after his arrest. Mishra was released by the Bhelupur police in the temple town on two personal bonds of Rs 20,000 each as the quantum of punishment was less than seven years for charges framed against him.
As news of Mishra's arrest spread across the city, a large number of BJP workers along with Central Bar Association president Neelkanth Tewari gathered outside the police station Mishra was taken.
Bharti was thrashed in the Assi Ghat area by alleged BJP supporters last Wednesday, a day before the BJP's PM pick Narendra Modi filed his nomination. The AAP leader was in Varanasi to campaign for Arvind Kejriwal.
Read: AAP leader Somnath Bharti beaten in Varanasi (Video inside)
"It seems Modiji has begun a khooni khel (bloody game) even before filing his nomination. I think it is just a trailer of what's in store," Bharti said soon after the attack.
The 39-year-old former law minister of Delhi was at a TV talk show when he was assailed by a group of people wearing saffron caps. By the time police reached the spot, the attackers had fled.
Hostile BJP supporters in Varanasi are not new to Bharti. During Kejriwal's first visit to Varanasi on March 25, morning walkers and alleged BJP supporters mobbed him at Sampoornanand Stadium in Sigra.
Read: Across the board, a royal welcome for ‘political guru’ Narendra Modi
Clashes broke out between workers of the two parties in half-a-dozen towns across the country earlier in March, hours after Kejriwal was briefly detained by police in a north Gujarat town.
Bharti was widely criticised for his role in a midnight raid of a home, housing Ugandan women, in south Delhi’s Khirki Extension in February. Then law minister, Bharti had raided the area after complaints by residents about the 'illegal' activities of people of African descent and ordered the police to take action. The police's refusal had resulted in an unprecedented political stand-off between the AAP-led Delhi government and the Centre.
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