Police forced me to make statement, says ‘witness’ to attack on Shivraj Singh Chouhan rath

Written by PaperDabba
Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Published: September 9, 2018 3:38:21 am

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (File)

DAYS after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan accused the Congress of engineering an attack on him in Churhat, an eyewitness whose account led to the arrest of nine people on Saturday alleged that he had been tortured by the police to make a false statement.

“Neither the incident of stone pelting happened before me, nor did I see anyone pelting stones,’’ Sandeep Chaturvedi, 23, who the police claimed was witness to the incident, told the media at Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh’s residence in Bhopal on Saturday.

Stones had allegedly been thrown at Chouhan’s “rath” — a customised vehicle — when the yatra was passing through Patpara village in Churhat, the constituency represented by Congress leader Singh, late on September 2.

The police and state Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had alleged that Congress activists were involved. Nine people, including two Congress workers, were arrested. They are in judicial custody.

On Monday, Chouhan had claimed that the main opposition party was “thirsty” for his blood.

With Ajay Singh by his side, Chaturvedi, a petrol pump attendant, alleged that the police forcibly made him implicate seven people whose names had been given to him. He alleged that the police tortured him when he said he was neither aware of the incident nor knew the seven people he was allegedly being asked to implicate.

SP, Seedhi, Tarun Nayak said the police arrested the accused based on evidence. “Investigations are still on,’’ he said when told about Chaturvedi’s allegations.

Congress leader Singh called the CM’s allegation — that he was the target — a “political stunt” and demanded a judicial probe to establish the truth behind the incident. “It’s a conspiracy to malign the Congress, and to target me.’’

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