After Kalicharan Maharaj’s arrest, MP and Chhattisgarh spar over rule book
After the arrest of Hindu seer Kalicharan Maharaj on Thursday in connection with his alleged derogatory remarks against Mahatma Gandhi earlier this month during a religious gathering, a war of words broke out between Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
A police team from Chhattisgarh’s capital of Raipur arrested Kalicharan Maharaj near the town of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, officials said.
"Kalicharan Maharaj was living in a rented room in Bageshwar Dham, 25km from Khajuraho. He booked a room in a guest house in Khajuraho by hiding his identity. When he reached there on Thursday morning, he was arrested by Chhattisgarh police,” Chhatarpur superintendent of police Sachin Sharma said.
Also watch | Kalicharan Maharaj arrested in MP: Hindu seer in dock for insulting Gandhi
After his arrest, Madhya Pradesh’s home minister Narottam Mishra condemned the action by the Raipur Police. "The Chhattisgarh government could have summoned him or could have called him by serving a notice,” Mishra said.
"The DGP of Madhya Pradesh has been asked to immediately speak to the DGP of Chhattisgarh and register a protest for not informing MP police. MP DGP has also been asked to seek clarification over violation of inter-state protocol,” he added.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel questioned Mishra’s comments over the seer’s arrest.
“Narottam Mishra should say whether he is happy or sad about the arrest of the person who derogated Mahatma Gandhi? No rules have been violated and the arrest made by Chhattisgarh police is as per procedures,” Bhupesh Baghel was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Chhattisgarh chief minister also said Kalicharan Maharaj's family and lawyer have been informed about his arrest by the police. “He will be presented before the court within 24 hours time,” he added.
The Raipur Police apprehended the seer from a rented room near Bageshwar Dham, around 25km from Khajuraho town, Raipur superintendent of police Prashant Agrawal told PTI. He will be brought here via road route by Thursday evening, the official added.
On Sunday, a first information report (FIR) was registered against Kalicharan Maharaj in Raipur for allegedly using derogatory words against Mahatma Gandhi. A case was also registered against him at Akola in Maharashtra on Monday in this connection.
The seer allegedly used abusive words against the Father of the Nation and asked people to elect a staunch Hindu leader as the head of the government in order to protect the religion. He made the remarks during the conclusion of the two-day Dharma Sansad (religious parliament) in Raipur on Sunday evening.