MP Police detains Congress leaders in the middle of night ahead of PM’s virtual rally in Hoshangabad

In a written complaint to SDM Sohagpur, the Congress said that the district police illegally detained half a dozen Congress office bearers from Sohagpur and nearly a dozen of party men from Babai

Representative Image (social media)
Representative Image (social media)
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Kashif Kakvi

Fearing a backlash over the contentious farm laws during a rally held in Hoshangabad to mark ‘sushasan diwas’ (Good Governance Day) on Friday, Madhya Pradesh Police detained more than a dozen Congress leaders and officer bearers in the middle of the night.

The state government observed the 96th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ‘sushasan diwas’ and held a rally in Babai in Hoshagabad district, while PM Narendra Modi addressed the rally virtually.

During the rally, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan gave a sermon on good governance to police and district officials and urged them to work honestly and do justice with the people.

However, the previous night, the district police not only detained Congress leaders in the middle of the night but also locked them up in hotel rooms for more than 12 hours. They were released after the conclusion of the PM’s virtual rally at 2 pm.

In a written complaint to Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Sohagpur, the Congress said that the district police illegally detained half a dozen Congress office bearers from Sohagpur and nearly a dozen of party men from Babai.

“The police detained the leaders in the middle of the night like terrorists out of an apprehension that black flags will be shown to CM Chouhan,” said Alok Jaiswal, a Congress leader in Sohagpur.

He said that they were kept for the first few hours in a police station, and when they began to protest, taken a hotel in Pipariya and locked up in rooms.

Opposing the new farm laws, the Congress and farmers had jointly held a rally near Sohagpur new bus stand on December 24 in which thousands of people participated. Moreover, Congress leaders had shown black flags to CM Chouhan when he visited Babai during the assembly elections.

“This is a dictatorship. Your voice will be quelled if you utter a single word against the government and its policies,” said Manish Jain, secretary, Sohagpur Congress, who was among those detained by the police.

“Disagreement and dissent has become crime in this country. Anyone who tries to raise a voice against the government ends up in jail without any clarification. This is lawlessness,” lamented state Congress spokesperson Abbas Hafiz Khan, adding that this is not a sign of a health democracy.

Brushing aside Congress’ allegations, Hoshangabad Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh Gaur claimed, "A few Congress party men had been called for questioning at police station after a tip off that they may create a ruckus during the event in the morning. It was a routine process, the rest is exaggeration,"

During the rally, PM Modi virtually addressed the farmers in Babai and remotely transferred Rs 18,000 crore into the bank accounts of nine crore farmers including 78 lakh farmers of the state under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Samman Nidhi, said an official communique released by the state government.

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