BHOPAL: Five days after nine men, two of them reportedly Congress workers, were arrested for allegedly pelting stones on Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's Jan Ashirwad Yatra (JAY) bus in Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh on September 2, a dramatic development pertaining to the episode happened in Bhopal on Saturday.
A 23-year-old youth Sandeep Chaturvedi, who claimed to be a witness for the Sidhi police in the case, made sensational allegations in the matter before journalists at the official residence of Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh in Bhopal. He alleged that he was beaten by police, forced to turn an eyewitness and name seven men as accused in the case, despite him being totally ignorant about the incident.
As Singh is the four-time sitting Congress MLA from Churhat constituency of Sidhi, where the alleged stone pelting on CM's JAY vehicle happened on September 2 evening, he has been on the target of the CM and the ruling BJP for having been behind the incident.
The youth Sandeep Chaturvedi, a resident of Hinauti village (around one km from Patpara village, the spot of September 2 alleged attack on CM's vehicle) works at the petrol pump owned by local BJP leader Manoj Singh Chauhan near Patpara village in Sidhi district. "I reached the petrol pump at 7.30 pm for night duty, when the CM's JAY was passing through that place. I didn't see any stone pelting on the CM's vehicle," claimed Chaturvedi. "Suddenly at around 1.30 am on September 2-3 intervening night, two cops including a sub-inspector forcefully took me to Kamrji police station where 7-8 more cops were present. At the police station, the cops showed me a piece of paper which bore names of seven persons, Sanjay Singh, Charan Singh, Gaurav Singh, Saurabh Singh, Roshan Singh, Saurabh Dwivedi and Shivendra Singh.""I was asked by the cops at the police to state before them that I had seen all those seven persons (whose names were mentioned on the paper) pelt stones on the CM's JAY vehicle. When I told the cops that I was ignorant about any such incident, the cops beat me up and forced me to record statements as they wanted," alleged Chaturvedi on Saturday.
"The Kamrji police station staff including station's in-charge Abhishek Singh Parihar has since been pressurizing me to record the untrue statements before the court under Section 164 of CrPc. The manner in which I'm being hounded by the cops, I fear threat to my life if I don't make statements before the court as per their wishes," Chaturvedi alleged further.
When contacted in the matter by The New Indian Express, the Sidhi district police superintendent Tarun Nayak said "the investigations are already underway in the matter based on available evidence."Nine men, including two local Congress leaders, were arrested on September 3 for allegedly pelting stones on the CM's JAY vehicle in Patpara village of Sidhi district. After the incident, the ruling BJP and CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had alleged LoP Ajay Singh's hand in the episode, as the incident happened in his assembly constituency Churhat.