Dantewada witnessed tense scenes on Saturday after social activist Swami Agnivesh and others accompanying him were attacked twice by an agitated mob comprising local villagers, Salwa Judum activists and special police officers (SPOs).
The swami was on his way to Tadmetla to look into the alleged excesses committed by the police, but he was forced to return by the protesting crowd near Dornapal, about 550 km south of Raipur.
Eggs and stones were thrown at the vehicles, and Agnivesh and his convoy were manhandled and abused.
After returning to Sukma in Dantewada, Agnivesh said that he did not blame the villagers for the incident, as they too had been victims of violence, and he had sympathy for them. But he did mention that the protest seemed to him a “stage-managed” affair. “I have informed the chief minister about the incident,” he added.
The Dantewada collector R Prasanna told Hindustan Times that the situation was now under control. “The agitating crowds were dispersed and anyone found creating disturbance will not be spared,” he said. He along with the Bastar commissioner K Srinivasulu briefed chief minister Raman Singh about the tense situation in Dantewada and sought directives regarding the course of action to be taken to prevent the circumstances from turning volatile again.
As a damage control measure, by late Saturday evening the Chhattisgarh government removed Prasanna, as well as the senior superintendent of police.
Raipur Municipal Corporation commissioner O P Choudhary will replace Prasanna, and Ankit Garg will replace SRP Kalluri as Dantewada SP.