BJP calls for bandh in Chhatisgarh today

RAIPUR, APRIL 29. The State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today gave a call for Chhatisgarh bandh tomorrow in protest against the police action on the BJP's youth wing activists at a rally here on Saturday.

The party workers observed Sunday as the black day.

Over 100 people, including five BJP MPs and leader of the Opposition, Mr. Nandkumar Sai, were injured in the lathi- charge in the town on Saturday.

The MPs, Mr. Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Mr. Prahlad Patel, Mr. Tarachand Shahu, Mr. Lakhiram Agarwal, Mr. P. R. Khunte, who received injuries in different parts of their body, were admitted in the hospital along with 100 other activists. Over 40 policemen and women received injuries in the stone throwing.

The police swung into action when the BJP youth wing activists tried to break the cordon and barricades around the Civil Lines area which houses the bungalows of the Chief Minister, ministers and senior officers. The BJP's Yuva Morcha had given a call for gherao of the Chief Minister's bungalow seeking Mr. Ajit Jogi's resignation on the charges of filing false affidavit in the petrol pump allotment case.

This was considered to be the biggest ever political rally in Raipur after the formation of the Chhatisgarh and the BJP workers were in a belligerent mood and determined to cross the barricades. The Yuva Morcha president and other leaders were literally chased by the lathi wielding policemen and assaulted severely.

The entire Raipur town was heavily barricaded and no vehicle was allowed to cross the fortified Civil Lines zone. Even the pedestrians were denied entry. The Chief Minister, Mr. Ajit Jogi, who was in the town for 90 minutes returned to New Delhi.

The BJP leaders later called on the Governor, Mr. Dinesh Nandan Sahay, and gave him the details of the police action. They filed a complaint against the erring police officers at the police station.

In the police action, several vehicles were damaged and number of shop keepers on the G. E. Road injured as the policemen entered their shops. Protesting the police action, the shopkeepers closed their shops.

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