Congress MP in Rajya Sabha Digvijaya Singh, former state minister and MLA PC Sharma, former mayor Vibha Patel, and 200 others were booked for rioting and violating Covid-19 guidelines while staging a protest against the Madhya Pradesh government in Bhopal on Sunday.
They were protesting against the government allotment of a piece of land in an industrial area to Laghu Udyog Bharati (LUB), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The Bhopal district industries centre (DIC) handed over the 10,000 sq feet land available for utility in Govindpura Industrial Area (GIA) to LUB for free a month ago for promotion of small and medium scale industries and developing a skill development centre. The GIA opposed the decision, claiming that the DIC handed over a park to LUB, said a district official. GIA has handed over a memorandum to a district collector but refused to talk to media on the issue. GIA president Amarjeet Singh also refused to comment on this issue.
LUB office bearers were laying the foundation stone of their office on the land on Sunday when Congress leaders led by Singh staged a protest there to stop the programme. Police force had to be deployed in the area and the LUB laid the foundation stone amid heavy security.
Police resorted to mild force and used water cannons to disperse the protesters. An argument also broke out between Singh and Bhopal deputy inspector general of police, Irshad Wali. Later, Ashoka Garden police registered a First Information Report against Singh, former minister PC Sharma and 200 others under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 147 (rioting) and 269 (spreading disease) of the Indian Penal Code.
Singh said, “The state government is harassing common people and handing over land to RSS for free. LUB office bearers cut down at least 30 plants of the park to construct the office. We were staging a peaceful protest but police used force on our workers.”
However, district administration and DIC officers said the land allotment was done as per the rules. DIC officer Kailash Manekar said, “In the map, the land was reserved for utility. It is not a park. GIA has been given 44,000 sq feet land and 10,000 sq feet was given to LUB for opening a skill development centre and state office for the promotion of small and medium scale industries.”
LUB claimed that the GIA was trying to encroach upon the land by planting saplings there. LUB joint general secretary Sudhir Daate said, “We applied for the land last year in July and received the nod in September but GIA planted about 25 saplings on the land. After registry of the land a month ago, we shifted the plants to other places. The Congress is politicising the matter without a reason.”
News Source: HindustanTimes