BJP MP’s guards attack Agra toll booth employees
Police on Saturday filed a case against Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ram Shankar Katheria and his associates after a video clip purportedly showed his security staff firing in the air and attacking toll plaza employees in Agra earlier in the day.
The incident came just a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned BJP lawmakers that violent behaviour was unacceptable. His warning came following an assault by Indore MLA Aakash Vijayvargiya on a civic officer.
Katheria, who is the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC), and his aides were booked under various IPC and section 30 of Arms Act.
According to the complaint filed by toll plaza employee Anupam Singh, Katheria’s security staff got aggressive after they were asked to drive their vehicles through the toll plaza, located on the Inner Ring Road, one by one, Agra senior superintendent of police (SSP) Babloo Kumar said.
Singh claimed he received multiple injuries in the attack. “He has been sent for medical examination. Video footage provided by toll plaza employees is being examined and strict action will be taken against those found guilty,” the SSP said.
When contacted, Katheria, who was on his way to Etawah from Delhi along with his wife when the incident took place, said it was not his security men who went on the offensive. “My car crossed the toll plaza while I was returning from Delhi, but when the car of my security men crossed, the toll plaza staff rushed towards them with batons and attacked them,” he said.
“When I stopped the car and came out, these lathi-wielding toll plaza employees then moved towards me in an aggressive manner. At this point, my security guard fired in the air to defend me. The toll plaza employees filed a false complaint against me. There was no bus in my cavalcade as claimed by them [in the FIR],” Katheria told HT.
Deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma, who was in Agra, said law will take its own course and there would be no interference. “I am not aware about the incident. I will get details of what happened and know the version of both sides,” Sharma said.
“It was around 3.45 am on Saturday when the cavalcade of Katheria reached the toll plaza but there was no prior information about his arrival there. Beside the MP’s vehicle, there were five other cars and a bus in his convoy, but they did not pass through the VIP lane,” Anupam Singh said in his complaint.
“...the MP’s security staff chose to thrash our in-charge instead of paying heed to his request. Seeing this, the other staffers of the MP also joined in and threatened to shoot the employees,” Singh claimed.