The office of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), also known as CPI(M), located in Narayan Peth was ransacked by a mob of five to six youths on Tuesday afternoon. The attackers were allegedly avenging Monday’s killing of E Manoj, a Kerala-based functionary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
A team of policemen inspect the Narayan Peth office on Tuesday afternoon
While the culprits are yet to be identified, CPI (M) leaders and activists blame Hindu right wing organisations for the attack. CPI (M) leader, Thomas Kurien said, “About five party workers were present in our office on Tuesday afternoon around 2.30 pm, when the mob came. One of the attackers had a tilak on his forehead. The mane with the tilak came forward and said ‘Your party workers killed one of our leaders in Kerala, and this attack is revenge for that killing’. After this threat, the other men started ransacking the office.”
CPI(M) Office bearers clarified that no party workers were injured in the attack, but documents and furniture in the office had been vandalised. “The attackers poured engine oil on our documents, files and office furniture. They had the intention of setting the entire office on fire. Initially, we did not realise what they were up to. We thought the attackers had brought acid with them and they were going to pour it on us, so we ran inside the other rooms,” Kurien stated.
“The attackers also broke glasses, chairs and some other furniture and then fled from the spot. There was no security guard or CCTV camera outside the office so we couldn’t establish the identity of attackers. We expect the police will nab the culprits soon,” he added.
A case has been filed against unknown suspects at the Vishrambaug police station.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) M B Tambde said they have received complaints alleging that right-wing groups were responsible. “However we will probe all angles and take necessary action,” he added.
RSS released a statement the same evening, condemning the attack and denying any involvement in it. “Every time any attack takes place, the RSS is blamed for the violence. RSS believes in democracy and the CPI(M) should introspect why it is being attacked frequently,” said Kailash Sontakke, the RSS’ Pune unit in-charge.