NARSINGHPUR: Union minister Prahlad Patel's 26-year-old son has been arrested in an attempt to murder case, following an attack that left five people injured here in this district of Madhya Pradesh, police said on Tuesday.
Prahlad Patel's son Prabal was among the seven persons arrested in connection with the attack on a group of persons at Gotegaon town on Monday night, they added.
The Union minister's nephew, Monu Patel, whose father is a sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA, has also been booked in the case, but not arrested yet.
Prahlad Patel, the BJP MP from Damoh, was recently inducted in the Union cabinet as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism.
"The victims have alleged that Prabal Patel (26), Monu Patel (27) and about a dozen others attacked them at Bailhai Bazaar at around 11.30 pm on Monday. Gunshots were also fired, which hit one person."
"Seven persons, including Prabal Patel, were arrested in this connection," Superintendent of Police (SP) Gurukaran Singh told PTI.
Monu Patel was yet to be arrested and a search to nab all the other accused was underway, he said.
Prabal Patel, a resident of Kisani Mohalla in Gotegaon, has been named as the main accused in the case, the police said.
Monu is the son of Prahlad Patel's younger brother Jalam Singh Patel, a former state minister and the sitting BJP MLA from Narsinghpur.
The SP said Home Guard jawan Ishwar Rai and four others were injured in the attack and all of them were referred to Jabalpur for further treatment.
He added that all the accused were booked under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 307 (attempt to murder) and 365 (kidnapping with intent to wrongfully confine a person).
Another police officer said two of the victims, Himanshu Rathore and Rahul Rajput, were returning home after attending a marriage ceremony when they were allegedly intercepted and abused by Prabal Patel and his associates.
Later, the accused took the duo to the residence of one Shivam Rai, where they beat up Shivam, his father Ishwar Rai and his friend Mayank, the police officer said.
Gunshots were also fired during the attack and one of the bullets hit Rathore, causing injuries to his hand, he said.
The police officer added that the victims, in their complaint, also alleged that they were forcibly taken to Monu Patel's office earlier and beaten up there by the accused.
He said the police were still to find out what led to the attack.
However, talking to PTI, former minister Jalam Patel claimed that his son Monu and nephew Prabal were not present at the crime spot.
"We have given a letter to the SP, urging him to conduct an inquiry into the case. Monu was in Jabalpur (at the time of the alleged incident)."
"Prabal was also returning from Jabalpur and both were not present there (at the crime spot), but were framed in the case due to political rivalry," he said.
The police should conduct an inquiry to trace the exact location of both Monu and Prabal Patel at the time of the incident, he added.
The incident was a fallout of a dispute between some men and Monu and Prabal Patel were deliberately dragged into it, Jalam Patel claimed.