Two days after the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government shunted two IPS officers over the September 25 assault of an RSS pracharak, opposition Congress is set to give the incident a political hue.
The issue will figure prominently on the agenda of the day-long Congress state executive meet slated in Bhopal on Wednesday. The state executive will also pass a resolution condemning the action taken against the cops.
“The entire Balaghat episode has exposed the massive RSS pressure under which the BJP government has crumbled in the state. The government has decided to sensitize every police station about the RSS leaders and workers in their area and how to deal politely with them,” said state Congress president Arun Yadav on Tuesday.
“When the RSS is emerging as the supreme force in MP and even senior IPS officers are being shunted for allegedly misbehaving with them, then it’s better that senior cops get replaced by RSS members in MP,” said Yadav.
The state executive meet is likely to be attended by former CM and present party national general secretary Digvijaya Singh, senior leader Suresh Pachauri and ex-MPCC chief Kantilal Bhuria.
Ex-union minister and Chhindwara MP Kamal Nath, who is out of the country and party’s chief whip in Lok Sabha, Jyotiraditya Scindia, however, will not be present.
While the state Congress is set to discuss the Balaghat incident significantly on Wednesday, legal eagle- turned-Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha too has assured to help the cause of the accused and suspended cops in the court totally free of cost.
“One of the Congress leaders from Balaghat, Vijay Bisen, who met with families of the accused cops said, “I’m all for helping their cause, including their petition for anticipatory bail, if the concerned cops ask me to do so,” Tankha confirmed to HT over phone.
After Bisen met the family of Dial 100 cop, Suresh Vijaywar, in Balaghat, the cop’s wife Rekha Vijaywar told media persons their families are living under constant under threat. “None of the cops were allowed to present their side in the matter, before a case was lodged against them. There are reports that their services too might be terminated. What will happen to their families after that and who’ll help them?” asked Vijaywar.
Meanwhile, the shunting of the two IPS officers, Asit Yadav as Balaghat SP and DC Sagar as IG Balaghat on Sunday has not gone down well the district police personnel in the Maoist-hit Balaghat district and the special Hawk Force.
“Both the IPS officers personally supervised the anti-Maoist operations as well as took personal interest in addressing our woes, but their removal from Balaghat has had a demoralizing effect, not just on the district police force, but also on the special forces deployed in Naxal-hit forests. It has become a point of discussion among the special forces,” said two lower ranked staffers of Hawk Force on condition of anonymity.
Nine cops, including the ASP, who were accused of beating RSS pracharak in custody over posting an offensive post on social media on September 25, have been booked for attempt to murder, rioting, criminal intimidation and loot.
Political parties cry foul over RSS protest in Jabalpur
Cutting across party lines, leaders of political parties, including the Congress, the AAP and the CPI, registered protests with the district collector and the superintendent of police for allowing the RSS and its allied organisations to stage demonstrations at the Malviya Square in Jabalpur.
The RSS members had staged a demonstration at the Malviya Square, the busiest thoroughfare in Jabalpur, to protest against the alleged thrashing of RSS pracharak Suresh Yadav by police officers.
Former Congress MLA Lakhan Ghanghoria said following a high court order, the administration had stopped giving permission to any organization to hold demonstration at the Malviya Square as it obstructs the traffic movement.
“We don’t understand how the court’s order was defied in case of RSS,” Ghanghoria said, adding that it was a threat to democracy.
CPI district secretary Rajendra Gupta said the opposition political parties set October 17 as the deadline for the district administration to initiate action against the officials who granted permission to the RSS. “Otherwise, we will also stage a demonstration at the Malviya Square,” Gupta said.
Both Gupta and Ghanghoria said the collector promised to ensure no special permissions are granted to any political parties to hold rallies in downtown Jabalpur.