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350 BJP cadres, including Kailash Vijayvargiya, booked for ‘threatening’ govt officials in Madhya Pradesh

Kailash Vijayvargiya

Kailash Vijayvargiya   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

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BJP leader was purportedly seen in a video threatening to set ‘entire Indore on fire’ while staging a sit-in

The police have registered a case against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, an MP, and around 350 party workers, after he was purportedly seen in a video threatening to set “entire Indore on fire” while staging a sit-in on Friday.

As the workers protested outside the Indore Divisional Commissioner’s house against the anti-mafia drive of the government, Mr. Vijayvargiya told an official, “We will not tolerate this. There are Sangh [RSS] leaders present here. Otherwise, we would have set the entire Indore on fire.”

Several leaders of the right-wing group, including its chief Mohan Bhagwat, were in the city for an internal meeting.

No arrests yet

The police registered a case, including against Indore MP Shankar Lalwani, on Saturday night, based on complaints of government officials, said Jyoti Umath, City Superintendent of Police, Sanyogitaganj. “Initially, a case for disobedience to order promulgated by public servant was registered. Hours later, four more counts were added. No arrests have been made so far,” she said.

The case was registered under Sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 143 (Unlawful assembly), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

BJP protest

The BJP was protesting against the State government’s anti-encroachment drive, which, it alleges, was targeting only structures owned by its workers. On Friday, party leaders had invited senior civic officials to raise the issue with them, but when only junior officials turned up, it riled Mr. Vijayvargiya.

“Have they become so big? The officials should understand that they are public servants,” he purportedly told officials present. “We are requesting government officials in writing that we want to meet them. Will they not even inform us that they are out of town?”

On Saturday, the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee submitted a memorandum to the Director General of Police calling for action against him for obstructing officials from performing duties. “Mr. Vijayvargiya protested against the lawful drive and tried to disrupt peace. Since he is at a top post in the BJP, his one direction will be enough to launch destructive activities in the State,” it said.

‘Political pressure’

Alleging the police had acted under political pressure from the Congress government, State BJP president and MP Rakesh Singh said, “In the name of mafia elimination, only BJP workers are being targeted selectively. Despite having valid documents, their houses are being razed. We will launch a front on this.”

Meanwhile, former chief minister and Congress MP Digvijaya Singh wrote on Twitter, “Whatever he has said, it’s not his mistake. He has been taught by an able Sangh and was just using the language taught by it. After setting fire to society, localities and cities, they have set fire to the country as these are the values the Sangh has given them.”

Months ago, Mr. Vijayvargiya’s son and MLA Akash reportedly thrashed with a cricket bat a civic official in Indore during a demolition drive. A case was registered against him, but he was later released on bail. Without naming him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting later said misbehaviour would not be tolerated by him, “whoever they may be”.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:27:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/350-bjp-cadres-including-kailash-vijayvargiya-booked-for-threatening-govt-officials-in-madhya-pradesh/article30484384.ece

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