FOR The MP Police, 2006 had begun on a worrying note. First, there were attacks on churches in Betul, Hoshangabad and Itarsi in January. Then came attacks on Christian assemblies in Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur in subsequent months.
In February, Basant Puja and Friday namaz coinciding on the same day at Bhojshala-Kamal Maula mosque in Dhar, raised concerns. Obviously, all these development were more than the law enforcers had bargained for.
Though dacoits’ guns boomed in Chambal region, the police succeeded in eliminating several bandits. The gunning down of Dayaram of the dreaded Gadaria gang in an encounter turned out to be a major achievement for the police.
The murder of Professor HS Sabharwal in Ujjain shook the State in August. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists were arrested in the case. The incident set off a national debate on politicisation and criminalisation on campuses.
Much to the relief of the police, there was no major communal flare-up in the State all through the year. Otherwise, it was a year of hoaxes in form of email threats that kept police on the tenterhooks.
Teenaged pranksters sent emails claiming to be members of terrorist organisations and a youth from Indore sent a threatening mail to the President. Besides, an 11-year-old boy sent a mail from Katni claiming responsibility for the Mumbai blasts.
It was not a pretty good year for police. Many incidents of attacks on policemen were reported from across the State this year. Policemen were bashed up in Bhopal and various other cities.
An unprecedented attack by thousands of Bhils on police led to the killing of a Station Officer VS Sapre in Guna in September.
An FIR by the Economic Offences Wing against the state police chief Swaraj Puri caused his sudden departure in September. AR Pawar became the new DGP and Puri was shifted to the Home Guards.
The year had begun with the controversy surrounding a video CD that allegedly featured a senior BJP leader in a compromising situation with a woman but the CID investigation revealed that it was manipulated.
Though tension prevailed in Khandwa on April 11 when stones were thrown at a religious procession, the situation was quickly brought under control. The alleged rape of two tribal Christian women was reported in Khargone towards the end of May.
Recovery of the carcass of a cow led to tension in Raisen. The Bajrang Dal activists gave anxious moments to the police in Malwa region and Dharma Raksha Sena activists targeted Christian missionaries in Jabalpur.Mob violence was witnessed in Gwalior after the arrest of Bharatiya Janashakti leader Preetam Lodhi on June 10.
In two separate incidents of alleged Sati—Janakrani of Sagar and a 95-year-old women of Baniyani (Chhatarpur) died on their husbandd’s funeral pyres in August and September respectively.
Though Naxalite violence remained sporadic, the dacoits remained a major headache for police. An Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) was abducted by the Puran Kachhi gang and kept him in the captivity for weeks.
Even after Dayaram’s death, the Gadaria gang challenged the police with the killing of five Gujjars near Shivpuri in November. Though the Jagjivan Parihar gang troubled the police to an extent, the killing of Salim Gujjar in Uttar Pradesh came as a big relief for the State police.
The year ended on a bad note for the police. The death of Sub-Inspector Chetna Sharma in Bhind caused another embarrassment for the police as IPS officer Rajababu Singh was charged with harassing her by the deceased’s kin. The CID booked the officer for abetment to suicide.
Disasters and mishaps
15 bus passengers burnt to death in Kailaras (Morena) in February.
23 persons, including women and children die in Bhopal, due to heavy rains in August.
Over 50 pilgrims drowned in Sindh river in Datia.
Bus falls into lake in Govindgarh (Rewa) claming 60 lives in October.