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Among men who attacked Asaddudin Owaisi home: College dropout, nursing staffer who lost job

In a Facebook live video shot on Tuesday evening, one of the men, Lalit Kumar (25), can be seen claiming he is the head of Hindu Sena’s Delhi wing and calling Owaisi a “jihadi”.

A ‘senior’ Hindu Sena member who dropped out of college, a nursing staffer who lost his job during the lockdown, an autorickshaw driver and two factory workers — these are the five men who vandalised MP Asaddudin Owaisi’s house at Delhi’s Ashoka Road on Tuesday, and were subsequently arrested.

In a Facebook live video shot on Tuesday evening, one of the men, Lalit Kumar (25), can be seen claiming he is the head of Hindu Sena’s Delhi wing and calling Owaisi a “jihadi”. “Main Asad Owaisi jihadi ke paas aaya hoon usko sabak sikhane (I have come to teach the jihadi Asad Owaisi a lesson)… Jai Shi Ram,” he says. Two men can be seen breaking the nameplate with axes, while others are seen hurling stones — and an axe — at the house.

Kumar, who has been with Hindu Sena for over 3 years, has participated in several rallies and is a ‘senior’ member, others from the outfit said, adding that he often leads rallies in Mandoli and nearby areas.

Vishnu Gupta, national president of the Hindu Sena, said, “The five men have been working with us for years. Kumar was hurt when he heard Owaisi’s speech. We are talking to his parents and want him to be released. They are all innocent. Owaisi is lying about the attack. Kumar and his friends would never hurt anyone.”

Kumar’s father sells construction material in Mandoli and is the sole breadwinner. Kumar dropped out of a private college and joined the Hindu Sena. He now works “full-time” with it.

Two of the other accused, Shivam Singh (24) and Vijay (24), work “under him” at the organisation, workers said. Shivam did a nursing course in Delhi two years ago and worked at a hospital in Ghaziabad, but lost his job during the lockdown and was looking for a new one. “He was studying physiotherapy for some exams, but dropped out of the course. He only went to Ashoka Road to support Kumar since he respects the organisation. He would not indulge in violence…,” said Nitin, his friend. Locals said that Vijay works as an autorickshaw driver and lives with his family in Mandoli.

Others seen in the video, Lalit Kumar (23) and Vijay Singh (26), work at factories near Ghaziabad and have families that are dependent on them, their friends said. “We didn’t know they were going to Owaisi’s house. I was shocked when I saw the video. Lalit and Vijay said they were going with members of the Hindu Sena for a protest near Parliament Street. I thought it was against farmers. Later that night, we came to know that police had arrested them. They don’t work for the Hindu Sena; we only attended a few rallies because our friends work there,” said Mohit Kumar, Lalit’s friend.

On Tuesday, Owaisi said: “These people (the accused) are being radicalised and the BJP is responsible for this. If a parliamentarian’s house is being vandalised, then what message is being sent?”

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