Five Congress leaders were booked and around 100 Youth Congress workers were detained on Wednesday while they were attempting to ‘gherao Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s residence in Bhopal to protest on several issues including the Pegasus snooping allegations, unemployment and inflation.
Police resorted to a mild lathi charge and used a water cannon to disperse protesters.
The FIR was registered against National Youth Congress president Srinivas B V, state Youth Congress president Vikrant Bhuriya, MLAs Jaivardhan Singh and Kunal Chaudhary and another person under sections 188 and 147 of the IPC after they tried to climb over the police barricades put up to stop protesters.
According to police, around 100 Congress workers were picked up in police vans and dropped off to Ratibad, about 20 kms away from city limits. Speaking to The Indian Express, DIG Bhopal (Urban), Irshad Wali said: “The protesters were dropped off to Ratibad to ensure they do not cause any other damage anywhere in the city. An FIR under 188 was registered on five others.”
The protest in Bhopal was part of an agitation across 52 districts. According to Congress functionaries, the plan was to gherao the Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday, but they had to change plans last minute as the House was adjourned sine die on Tuesday.
Several Congress workers were also injured in the lathi charge. Rakesh Goyal, a Congress worker who sustained injuries on his head said to the media: “We had come to oppose the government’s illegal action on Pegasus, inflation and unemployment. We will continue to protest.”
Srinivas BV said: “The lathis, water cannons or even police firing will not stop the youth of the country. The use of water cannon will not break the spirit of Youth Congress, we are followers of Mahatma Gandhi. Our ancestors have got the country free from the rule of British and now we will free the country from the rule of British informers.”
Whereas, MLA Jaivardhan Singh said every drop of the Congress workers’ blood spilled, is dedicated to Madhya Pradesh. “We are committed to the people of the state and our struggle will continue. BJP government headed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan has become insensitive to the people of the state,” he said.