Chhattisgarh violence: FIR against BJP leader Raman Singh’s son, BJP MP for clashes in Kawardha, over 90 people arrested

Chhattisgarh police on Saturday registered a case against BJP national vice-president Raman Singh’s son Abhishek and party MP Santosh Pandey for allegedly disturbing peace after riots broke out in Kabirdham’s Kawardha town last Sunday.

Abhishek Singh, Santosh Pandey and many of their supporters have been booked for rioting, vandalizing properties and provoking communal clashes between two groups in Kawardha on Tuesday, a police officer told Times of India. This town in Chattisgarh has been under curfew for the last three days.

Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel warned that whoever is responsible for the violence in the twon will face action. “The accused will not be spared, irrespective of their position or influence,” he said.

Talking to the news outlet, the officer said that Singh and Pandey were allegedly present at the protest rally that was carried out on Tuesday, calling for a bandh against the violent clashes which erupted on Sunday. The duo were leading a huge rally, where slogans were raised that were allegedly provocative and ended up triggering violence, the police added.

Meanwhile, Pandey told media that he was present at the rally but did not provoke the mob and alleged that he was being accused under false charges.

Leader of opposition in the assembly, Dharamlal Kaushik condemned the filing of the FIR against the saffron party leaders. “This indicates dictatorship. Abhishek Singh and Pandey were, in fact, trying to calm down the situation. Just because they were present at the rally that turned violent, the duo has been charged,” he said.

In the last three days, nearly 90 people have been arrested for rioting. The charges in three FIRs against them include sections of IPC 147, 148, 149, 153, 188, 295, 332 and 353, along with section 109 of Public Property damage Act.

On Friday, a peace rally was taken out by Kawardha SP Mohit Garg, the collector and senior members of several communities. Curfew is still in force in Chattisgarh’s town. The police said that the town is calm and things are under control.

Violent clashes had broken out on Sunday, following a dispute over hoisting of a flag which continued for the next two days. However, violence escalated on Tuesday, forcing police to lathicharge a mob. Almost eight cops were injured and Curfew was clamped the same evening.

(Inputs from TOI)

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