The Aam Aadmi Party, on Saturday, organised a protest in Bengaluru’s Shanthinagar, against its MLA, Congress’ NA Haris. This comes a week after Haris’ son, Mohammad Nalapad Haris, and his goons were accused of assaulting a man in an upscale eatery in Bengaluru.
Nalapad was also the General Secretary Youth Congress, but the party suspended him once the allegations surfaced.
"When we visited houses in Shanthinagar, we realized that there is an atmosphere of fear in the area. People were hesitant to speak to us outside their houses. They would call us inside and quickly close the door. This atmosphere existed even before the recent assault," said AAP’s Renuka Viswanathan, a former IAS officer, who will be contesting against Haris in the upcoming Assembly polls.
The protest started from Nanjappa Circle at 5 pm on Saturday. Chants of “Goonda Haris, down down” echoed in the bylanes of the constituency.
People gathered in shops, houses and even rooftops as supporters of AAP announced that they were here to free Shanthinagar from the atmosphere of fear that gripped it.
“Nalapad and his family believe that Shanthinagar is theirs. Today, we are doing a shanthi march in Shanthinagar,” said Prithvi Reddy, National Spokesperson for AAP.
He added, “When we did a survey here, 65% people said they are scared to open their mouths. We are here to tell them this time they have a choice. You have a choice of electing a better candidate.”
Nalapad and his men are currently in judicial custody. The victim, 24-year-old Vidvat, is still recovering in Mallya Hospital. However, he still has trouble breathing as his nose and cheeks were broken in the assault. His family has refused to meet the MLA, and are contemplating moving him to Mumbai or Singapore to ensure better treatment.
AAP, which has contested assembly elections in Punjab, Goa and Gujarat, currently holds power only in Delhi. The party suffered a setback after it failed to win a single seat in the recently concluded Gujarat assembly elections.
AAP announced on December 21, 2017 that it would be contesting the Assembly elections in Karnataka.