Protesters fly black balloons against MP CM; balloon seller arrested 

A shopkeeper, Hiru Sewani, was arrested by the Satna police in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly selling black balloons to protesters. These balloons were flown as a sign of protest against the CM

PTI photo
PTI photo
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Kashif Kakvi

A shopkeeper, Hiru Sewani, has been arrested by the Satna police in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly selling black balloons to protesters. These balloons were flown as a sign of protest against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who had visited the city for a convention.

On September 18, the Chief Minister was in Satna to address a convention of backward classes organised by the BJP. While Singh was in Satna, thousands of people gathered to oppose him by shouting slogans, showing black flags and flying black balloons.

In an attempt to end the protest, Satna police started beating the protesters to disperse the mob, reportedly injuring many protestors. To curb dissent, the Satna police arrested many protesters including the shopkeeper Sewani. He was sent to the district court, where he was released on bail. The traders association of Satna has objected to the arrest of Sewani as he was merely selling an item in his shop.

Chouhan, who is on his third ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ across the state ahead of assembly elections, has been witnessing a backlash from different groups of the society, including upper caste groups, who have been protesting against restoration of SC/ST Atrocities Act.

CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is on his third ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ across Madhya Pradesh ahead of assembly elections, has been witnessing a backlash from different groups. Members of non-SC/ST communities are opposing the BJP-ruled government in the state and centre for passing the new SC/ST Atrocities Act in Parliament which allows the arrest of an accused without investigation

Shivraj has faced protestors in Betul, Sidhi, Churhat and Ujjain

In another rally in Betul district held on September 12, district police allegedly asked college students to remove their black scarves when they were going to take part in CM’s rally. Talking to media after the rally, a student said that they were pursuing their graduation in social work and their dress code was pink suit, black trousers and a black scarf. As they heard that the chief minister was coming to Betul to address a rally, they headed there.

As soon they reached site, a female police officer asked them to remove their scarfs and put it in the bag. Later, the officer took away their scarves fearing a protest and returned these later at night, when the CM left the city.

During one of Shivraj’s rallies, a slipper was hurled at him in Sidhi, while his election vehicle was attacked by stone-pelters at Churhat and Ujjain.

Commenting on the issue, Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said, “The recent protests against the Chief Minister have put him under a lot of strain and he is taking such steps in an attempt to curb dissent.”

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