New Delhi: Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav's face was on Saturday smeared with ink during an event at Jantar Mantar here by a 38-year-old man who was later roughed up by AAP supporters.
The man, identified as Sagar Bhandari, wearing the trademark AAP cap and a badge, came from behind and smeared ink on Yadav's face when the AAP leader was talking to the media at the event organised to mark International Women's day.
After the incident, the attacker was thrashed by AAP volunteers following which he was taken away by police to Parliament Street police station. Later, he was taken to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.
Bhandari, a resident of Shalimar Bagh area of North Delhi and claimed to be a disgruntled AAP worker, raised slogans "Bharat Mata ki Jai" before smearing ink on Yadav.
"I do not know who this person is. I was talking to media when I was attacked. This time they have attacked us from behind. Next time they will attack us from the front," Yadav said after the incident.
The AAP leader refused to lodge a police complaint into the incident and even visited the Parliament Street Police station to ask police not to register an FIR. His supporters were, however, insisting on doing so.
The AAP leader said that he was not embarrassed by the incident and asked his followers to ignore it.
When asked whose hand could be behind the attack, Yadav said, "I could not see who this person was. I do not even know what his intention was. I do not want to blame anyone without verifying."
"I think when you step out in politics and raise your voice against bigger forces, then you should be ready to pay some prices. At least I am not ashamed of it," Yadav added.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said, "They will do such things when you walk on the path of honesty."
Another AAP leader Shazia Ilmi blamed the BJP for the attack on Yadav. "The incident was so appalling and vindictive. Nasty things are being carried out. I appeal BJP workers not to do this. We will file an FIR in the matter," Ilmi said.
Rejecting the allegations, Delhi BJP Chief Harsh Vardhan hinted at AAP's role in stage managing the attack. "It is a matter of police investigation. The incident matches with AAP's politics of lies," Vardhan said.
Later Yadav tweeted: "We should expect such incidents, its the beginning of change in #India, a small party taking on years of corruption & decay. I am not embarrassed by the ink on my face, its just an act of cowardice. Request all #AAP supporters to ignore."