Chhattisgarh police arrest over 200 people in connection with Balodabazar violence - Hindustan Times
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Chhattisgarh police arrest over 200 people in connection with Balodabazar violence

Jun 11, 2024 05:48 PM IST

A protest by members of the Satnami community turned violent in Balodabazar city on Monday with protestors barging into the collector’s office, setting ablaze a dozen vehicles and office buildings

The Chhattisgarh police on Tuesday lodged seven first information reports (FIRs) in connection with a protest which turned violent in Balodabazar city on Monday. More than 200 arrests have taken place till now, officials added.

Around 50 police personnel have sustained injuries in stone pelting during the violence on Monday. (Representative Image)
Around 50 police personnel have sustained injuries in stone pelting during the violence on Monday. (Representative Image)

On Monday, Satnami community protestors barged into the collector’s office of Baloda Bazar district, setting ablaze a dozen vehicles and office buildings on Monday over the alleged damage of their religious place in the district.

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More than two dozen cars, around 70 two-wheelers and a government building were torched at the composite district office premises. Around 50 police personnel have sustained injuries in stone pelting during the violence, officials said.

“We have registered seven offences in connection with Monday’s incident. Twelve teams of police have been constituted which have been dispatched to different locations to trace those involved in the arson,” said Balodabazar-Bhatapara superintendent of police (SP) Sadanand Kumar.

Based on CCTV footage, videography of the protest by police and video footage from other sources including media persons, the main accused and others are being identified, he said.

“We are in contact with SPs of neighboruing and other districts to catch the accused. Some people have been arrested and details in this regard will be disclosed after completing the paperwork,” he added.

More than 100 vehicles, including four-wheelers and two-wheelers, were damaged in the arson and a team has been constituted for the assessment of total loss, he said.

Around 45-50 police personnel have sustained injuries and one of them was said to be in serious condition and has been admitted in a hospital in neighbouring Bilaspur district, he said.

Talking to reporters, district collector KL Chauhan said as per his information, around 200 people have been arrested so far and action is underway to trace the accused.

Notably, unidentified persons had vandalised ‘jaitkham’ or ‘victory pillar’, a sacred symbol worshipped by the Satnami community, near the holy Amar Gufa at Giroudpuri Dham in the district on the intervening night of May 15 and 16 this year. Police subsequently arrested three persons in connection with the incident.

To protest against the incident, the community called for a demonstration at Dussehra Maidan here on Monday, and also a ‘gherao’ at the collector’s office.

As the protest led to arson and stone-pelting, the Balodabazar-Bhatapara district administration imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, prohibiting assembly of four or more people in Balodabazar city till June 16.

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