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"BSP, SP and Congress Leaders Provoked Crowd for Violence," says MP Police, Booked

Kashif Kakvi |
Gwalior police have lodged an FIR against BSP parliamentarian from Bijnor, Maluk Nagar and SP MLA from Sardhna UP, Atul Pradhan and sitting Congress leader from Morena.
"BSP, SP and Congress Leaders Provoked Crowd for Violence," says MP Police, Booked

Representational Image. File Image

Bhopal: A day after the members of the Gujar community went on a rampage in Gwalior, attacking the district collector's office, setting ablaze the vehicles and pelting stones, Madhya Pradesh police on Tuesday lodged an FIR (First Information Report) against two Uttar Pradesh leaders and a sitting Congress MLA for provoking and instrumenting the violence.

The Gwalior police have lodged an FIR against Bahujan Samajwadi Party [BSP] parliamentarian from Bijnor [UP], Maluk Nagar and Samajwadi Party [SP] MLA from Sardhna [UP], Atul Pradhan and sitting Congress leader from Morena Rakesh Mawai at Padav police station under section 153 [Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot], 505 -B [Statement conducting the public mischief] and 506 [Criminal intimidation] of the IPC.

On Monday, members of the Gujar community held a rally at Phoolbagh ground on the culmination 40-day-long Gujjar Janjagran Yatra demanding the removal of tin covers from the statue of Raja Mihir Bhoj installed at Chirwai Naka, Gwalior, a revered figure of the community, demand for poll tickets for the community according to their population and others. 

The Gwalior police FIR says that provocative speeches and anti-government statements were given at the rally, which enraged the crowd. "When a crowd of over 1000 men marched towards the collector office, in a bid to hand over the memorandum of their demands, they attacked the collectorate and set ablaze vehicles, pelted stones and wreaked havoc in the area. Although, they have been given permission for the peaceful demonstration of their demands," says an FIR lodged at Padav police station. 

The rampage at the collectorate took place in the presence of district collector Akshay Kumar Singh and SP Rajesh Chandel. The police were initially outnumbered, allowing the crowd to storm the collectorate. Later, more force was called in, and police resorted to cane charging and tear-gas shelling to disperse the mob, but it proceeded towards the highway and continued the rampage there.

To control the enraged mob, police resorted to lathi-charge lobbed over 200 tear gas shells and 50 rounds firing. The mob rushed to the highway and smashed public vehicles, says police. 

Additional Superintendent of Police Rishikesh Meena said, "Police have lodged five FIRs with 40 named accused in connection with the incident at four police stations. We have also arrested nine accused so far."

"The rioters have damaged 162 vehicles, and 12 police personnel have received injuries," he said, adding that we are lodging FIRs on the complaints of individuals whose vehicles were damaged by the unruly mob.     

Raja Mihir Bhoj’s ancestry is a bone of contention between the Rajput and the Gurjar communities in the Gwalior-Chambal region, and the mention of the word ‘Gurjar’ on the statue of Raja Mihir Bhoj installed at Chirwai naka, Gwalior has become a matter of legal dispute. The statue was covered on order of the court, but the Gurjar community has been demanding that it be opened up in honour of the Gurjar king. The community is also demanding to stop the distortion of the history of the Gurjar Pratihar dynasty to which Mihir Bhoj belonged, according to them.  

Earlier, Jaswant Singh, Gurjar Samaj office-bearer and one of the organisers of the event, claimed atrocities had been committed on his community for long.

“The statue of Gurjar king Mihir Bhoj is covered with a tin shed, which should be removed. Political parties should field candidates from the community as per population,” he said.

He also sought the formation of a Gurjar regiment in the Army and an inquiry into alleged fake encounters of youth from the community in Morena.

"When the state government is bulldozing homes and invoking the stringent NSA for allegedly spitting on religious rallies or in the cases of stone pelting, the police lodged FIR under light charges," said Rakesh Pathak, a political commentator and journalist from Gwalior about the current conditions.  

[With PTI inputs]

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