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Minister arrested for intimidating officer

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Minister Tukoji Rao Pawar
Minister Tukoji Rao Pawar

Dewas(MP): Madhya Pradesh Tourism Minister Tukoji Rao Pawar was on Tuesday arrested by the police for allegedly threatening and intimidating a lady returning officer and sent to jail by a court in a dramatic action with days ahead of Assembly elections in the BJP-ruled State.

Along with Mr. Pawar, who is the BJP candidate from Dewas and the erstwhile royal scion of Dewas, another ruling party nominee from Sonkatch Phool Chand Verma was also jailed in connection with the incident last Saturday.

The arrests came a day after Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Sanjana Jain, Returning Officer for Sonkatch, lodged a complaint against them for obstructing official work and threatening her following a dispute over a poll-related issue.

Both Mr. Pawar and Mr. Verma were later produced in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Jasveer Kaur Sasan who sent them to judicial remand till November 24 after the two leaders refused to apply for bail, official sources said.

The Dewas police on Monday booked them under sections 353 and 504 of the IPC following the complaint.

The case arose when Mr.Pawar along with Mr.Verma went to meet Ms. Jain to complain that the Congress nominee from the Sonkatch, Sajjan Singh Verma, had not filed his ‘A’ and ‘B’ poll form in time. The two BJP men later had a heated argument with her on the issue and were seen on camera throwing a paper and banging the official’s table.

The administration has a video recording of the meeting, following which action was taken against the minister and his party colleague.

The Election Commission meanwhile ordered the transfer of Dewas Collector following laxity on his part in sending a report on the incident.

Ms. Jain also came in for praise from the Commission for performing her poll duties without any fear or favour and would be getting a letter of appreciation, official sources said. — PTI

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