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A Jolly protest that did not please BJP

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 29, 2013
First Published: 00:15 IST(29/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:20 IST(29/11/2013)

Senior BJP leader Vijay Jolly on Thursday created a ruckus and defaced the property of journalist Shoma Chaudhury, former managing editor of Tehelka magazine, an act that hasn’t gone down well within the party.

The Delhi Police registered a case under various sections of IPC and Section 3 of the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 2007, against Jolly at the Saket police station. Jolly was later summoned for questioning by the SHO of Saket police station with sources stating that he will do so on Friday around 1pm.

The National Commission for Women sought an explanation from police regarding the incident and the action taken by them. “We will reply tomorrow,’ said a senior Delhi police official.

Police said Jolly, along with his supporters, reached Chaudhury’s house in Saket on Thursday and first shouted slogans. The BJP leader then and threw black ink in front of Chaudhury’s house and scribbled the word ‘accused’ on her nameplate.

The party however distanced itself from the protest.

“Jolly had mentioned this to Arun Jaitley ji and me. We had told him not to go ahead with the protest as this is not our party’s culture. But he still went ahead with it and I condemn his action,” said senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj.

Delhi election in-charge Nitin Gadkari said action would be taken against him. “It was a personal reaction and the party has got nothing to do with it. We will enquire into it and take appropriate action,” promised Gadkari.

Security has been provided to Chaudhury.

Even the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) criticised Jolly’s act. “This is certainly not the way to protest,” said Ram Madhav, RSS spokesperson.

The protesters demanded Chaudhury’s arrest for maintaining ‘criminal silence’ on the alleged sexual assault of a former Tehelka journalist. The protestors blocked Chaudhury’s car and some even tried to hurl ink at her face. Others, including Jolly, tried to climb on the car but were stopped by Delhi police personnel.

The BJP leader, who is apparently disgruntled at not being given a party ticket for the forthcoming Assembly elections, later termed the protest as an individual act. “This protest was spontaneous and was not organised by the party. It was a decision taken at the spur of the movement,” Jolly said.

Concerned over the impact the protest could have on voters days before the polls, the BJP condemned the move. “He should not have done it and was advised not to do it. Won’t justify it...Sushma Swaraj criticised it, I do so too,” said Jaitley.

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