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Chhattisgarh: District Collector, SP of violence-hit Balodabazar removed, new officials take charge

Unidentified persons had vandalized 'jaitkham' or 'victory pillar', a sacred symbol worshipped by the Satnami community, near the holy Amar Gufa at Giroudpuri Dham in Balodabazar-Bhatapara district on the intervening night of May 15-16.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Balodabazar Published on: June 12, 2024 9:40 IST
Satnami community protest
Image Source : INC/X Protest led by Satnami community members turned violent resulting in massive arsonal and stone pelting.

The Chhattisgarh government on Tuesday changed the District Collector and the SP of violence-hit Balodabazar. Deepak Soni was made the new District Collector of Balodabazar and Vijay Agarwal the new SP. District Collector Kumar Lal and SP Sadanand were removed late last night by the Chhattisgarh government as the violence in Balodabazar on June 10 drew severe criticism for the BJP-led government in the state.

Govt blames Congress for violence

A day after a mob set fire to a key government building and scores of vehicles during a protest called by the Satnami community in Chhattisgarh's Balodabazar city, two state ministers accused Congress leaders of instigating the crowd.

Addressing a press conference here this evening, Food Minister Dayaldas Baghel and Revenue Minister Tank Ram Verma alleged Congress leaders, including some MLAs, attended the demonstration organised by the Satnami community and also sought to link them to the large-scale arson on Monday.

"In the programme (protest), some people systematically committed serious crimes like arson, loot, damage to government property, attempt to murder to defame the Satnami community, which is condemnable.

Everything was executed in a planned manner. Anti-social elements torched about 150 two-wheelers and four wheelers," minister Baghel said.

Congress leaders, including former minister Guru Rudra Kumar, incumbent MLAs Devendra Yadav and Kavita Pranlahre, attended the demonstration, he claimed.

They directly and indirectly encouraged the incident of arson and loot. This incident was the result of a well-planned conspiracy of the Congress. A nefarious attempt was made to defame the Vishnu Deo Sai government. The support of an outside outfit, Bhim Army, was also taken, Baghel claimed. 

The opposition Congress rejected all the allegations levelled by the BJP ministers.

The Composite Building (which houses offices of district collector, Superintendent of Police and other offices) was torched and three fire tenders were set ablaze by rioters during the protest called to denounce alleged vandalization of a religious structure revered by the Satnami community last month.

"Around 40 police personnel were injured and media persons were also beaten up. Common people were chased on streets and thrashed. Lakhs of rupees were looted from people who came to the Balodabazar city registry officer for registration of property," minister Baghel said.

"Such a crime can never be committed by the Satnami community which is known for giving the message of peace and brotherhood. There is a political conspiracy behind the entire incident," he asserted.

Baghel alleged the tragic incident has happened due to a conspiracy of Congress which is unable to tolerate the BJP government at the Centre and in the state.

The minister informed that more than 200 people have been arrested so far in connection with the arson.

(With agencies inputs)

Also read: Terrorists target Army base in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda hours after Kathua attack, 6 soldiers injured


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