New Delhi, Oct 12: Senior Supreme Court lawyer and Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan was today roughed up by a youth claiming to be the activist of an outfit Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena for his remark on holding referendum in Kahmir. He was immediately caught and handed over to police.
The youth Inder Verma was overpowered by the lawyer's assistants and handed over to police.
His associate Tejinderpal SinghBagga was later arrested, while the third Vishnu Gupta fled from the spot. They distributed leaflets on behalf of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena outside the Supreme Court Lawyers chambers.
Prashant Bhushan was speaking on some issue on camera to a television channel Times Now inside his court chamber, when Inder Verma barged inside and began assaulting the senior lawyer.
Prashant Bhushan had supported the demand for referendum in Kashmir while meeting the press in Varanasi last week. He was asked in Varanasi whether in the light of referendum of Jan Lokpal Bill, he supported holding referendum on the status of Kashmir, Prashant Bhushan had replied; " Yes, can be."
Later, Tejinderpal Singh Bagga, the president of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena speaking to India TV over telephone claimed that he and his associates had similarly tried to attack Kashmir separatist leader Syed Shah Gilani and writer Arundhati Roy in the recent past.
"We will break the heads of those who will try to break India", he said in a menacing tone.
Bagga claimed he ran a blog site by the name of bhagatsinghkrantisena in which he regularly criticised those who supported the Kashmiri separatists.
Bagga also claimed that he and his friends had sought a 4 pm appointment with Prashant Bhushan today.
Asked by India TV, why he resorted to violence, Bagga said, when law doesn't give punishment, what can a citizen do. He said he was inspired by the movie Wednesday in which a citizen took law into his hands to take up cudgels against terror.
Bagga alleged that Prashant Bhushan had supported death sentence for corrupt persons during the Anna Hazare sit-in, but he prevaricated whenever the question of execution of Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab was raised.
Senior Team Anna member Kiran Bedi condemned today's incident saying it was 'shocking and shameful'.
Kiran Bedi said, "I'm disturbed. Since everything is on camera, these people will be in jail for a long time now. It shows the level of intolerance and desperation among some people. This is very said. It makes me angry. I think justice will be done as everything is on camera."
Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal also condemned the incident saying it appeared to be part of some conspiracy.
Congress today termed as “barbaric” the attack on senior advocate Prashant Bhushan in his Supreme Court chambers and demanded strict action against the attackers.
“No words are strong enough to condemn the barbaric attack,” said party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi, himself a senior lawyer.
He said the people behind the act should be arrested and the organisation they are associated with identified.
“The issue needed to be dealt with strictly so as to avoid recurrence of any such incident in future. No right-thinking people will support such kind of action,” he said.
Condemning the attack on lawyer Prashant Bhushan by two youths, Home Minister P Chidambaram today said he has directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to take appropriate action against the assailants.
Chidambaram said one person involved in the attack has been arrested and police was looking for another person.
The Home Minister said he has spoken to Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta and directed him to take appropriate action.
He said Bhushan has been taken to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital for treatment and he has sent an official to enquire about him.
“No body has the right to take law in their hands and I have asked the Delhi Police to take appropriate action against the people involved in the attack,” he said.