Balodabazar violence: Top officers suspended for not ‘taking appropriate action’ - Hindustan Times
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Balodabazar violence: Top officers suspended for not ‘taking appropriate action’

Jun 14, 2024 01:08 PM IST

On May 15, unidentified persons vandalised ‘jaitkham’ or ‘victory pillar’, a sacred symbol worshipped by the Satnami community, near the holy Amar Gufa at Giroudpuri Dham in the Balodabazar-Bhatapara district

Raipur: The Chhattisgarh government on Thursday suspended IAS officer KL Chauhan and IPS officer Sadanand Kumar, who were removed as the collector and superintendent of police, respectively, following the Balodabazar violence. 

Over 150 vehicles were set ablaze in Chhattisgarh’s Balodabazar city during violence on Monday (Twitter Photo)
Over 150 vehicles were set ablaze in Chhattisgarh’s Balodabazar city during violence on Monday (Twitter Photo)

According to the suspension orders, disciplinary action was pending against the two officers after complaints that the district administration and police did not take appropriate action following damage to the religious structure of the Satnami community last month.

On May 15, unidentified persons vandalised ‘jaitkham’ or ‘victory pillar’, a sacred symbol worshipped by the Satnami community, near the holy Amar Gufa at Giroudpuri Dham in the Balodabazar-Bhatapara district.

To protest against the incident, the community called for a demonstration at Dussehra Maidan Balodabazar on Monday (June 10), and also a ‘gherao’ at the collector’s office. However, it turned violent and a mob allegedly set fire to a government office while over 150 vehicles, including two-wheelers and four-wheelers, were set ablaze in Balodabazar city.

The influential Satnami community, founded by medieval-era social reformer Baba Guru Ghasidas, represents the largest Scheduled Castes group in Chhattisgarh.

Following Monday’s arson incidents, the Chhattisgarh government on Tuesday transferred Chauhan and Kumar.

As the protest led to arson and stone-pelting, the district administration imposed section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, prohibiting the assembly of four or more persons in Balodabazar city till June 16 and three persons were arrested in connection with the incident. 

Police have so far registered seven first information reports in connection with the arson case. More than ten police teams have been constituted to trace those involved in the incident.

According to officials, the government on Thursday also appointed a one-member judicial commission headed by high court retired justice CB Bajpai to probe the incident, officials said. The commission will submit its report to the state within three months.

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