- Nitu Tejwani, a supporter of the NCP, was attacked
- She has filed a complaint against BJP's Balram Thawani, her attacker
- The Congress has demanded an apology from the state's ruling BJP
A BJP lawmaker who has provoked outrage after he was caught on camera thrashing and kicking a woman participating in a protest in Ahmedabad, today posed for photos with her tying a rakhi on him. "She is like my sister, I have apologized to her for what happened yesterday," Balram Thawani told reporters. The party has issued a notice to the lawmaker.
"We condemn this behaviour which is shameful and unbecoming of a people's representative," State BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya was quoted by news agency IANS as saying.
In the video clip that has gone viral, the woman, Neetu Tejwani, is beaten, kicked and dragged by her hair by Balram Thawani, who ignores her screams and keeps assaulting her until he is stopped by a man.
The woman is a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supporter who was part of a protest over water supply in Naroda in Ahmedabad.
Neetu Tejwani has filed a complaint against her attacker. "I went to meet Balram to discuss the lack of proper water in the area. Without saying anything, he (Balram) came and started slapping and thrashing me. When my husband saw this, he came to my rescue. Immediately, some of Balram's supporters came from inside and started thrashing my husband with sticks. Women who were protesting along with me were also brutally beaten up by Balram and his supporters," she has been quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
#WATCH BJP's Naroda MLA Balram Thawani kicks NCP leader (Kuber Nagar Ward) Nitu Tejwani when she went to his office to meet him over a local issue yesterday. Nitu Tejwani has registered a complaint against the MLA. #Gujaratpic.twitter.com/dNH2Fgo5Vw— ANI (@ANI) June 3, 2019
Balram Thawani was initially quoted in reports as saying that he had hit out "in self-defence", that he was attacked in his office first. The woman, he said in those report, was hurt by accident. Later, he changed his tune.
"I got swayed by emotions, I accept the mistake, it was not intentional. I have been in politics for last 22 years, such a thing has never happened before. I will say sorry to her," Mr Thawani told ANI on Monday.
Later, he went to Ms Tejwani's home with sweets and a rakhi was tied; the thread symbolizes the bond between a brother and a sister.
"We have cleared out the misunderstandings between us. I have promised to help her if she ever needs any help," Mr Thawani said.
Ms Tejwani's party is not so forgiving. "We demand that a case be registered and the legislator arrested. An apology won't do, it is no small matter. The law should take its course," said the NCP's Nawab Malik.