Key Accused in Balodabazar Violence Apprehended by Chhattisgarh Police
Key Accused in Balodabazar Violence Apprehended by Chhattisgarh Police

Raipur:   Chhattisgarh police have apprehended Kishore Navrange, a key suspect in the Balodabazar violence that erupted on June 10. Navrange, the state president of the 'Bheem Krantiveer' outfit and previously associated with Bhim Regiment, was arrested from Phallari village on June 19 following credible intel about his location.

Background of the Violence

The violence in Balodabazar was triggered by protests against the vandalism of the Jaitkham, a sacred symbol for the Satnami community, in Mahkoni village. On June 10, an enraged mob set dozens of vehicles and several government offices on fire, breaching security measures near the collector’s office.

Details of the Incident

Protestors, who had gathered at the Dusshera ground, became uncontrollable and breached police barricades near Garden Chowk. They stormed the collector’s office premises, setting ablaze around 30 four-wheelers and numerous two-wheelers, and clashed with police, leaving dozens injured. The incident prompted immediate action from the state government, resulting in the suspension and release of the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police.

Arrests and Investigation

Following the violence, police registered eight FIRs and formed special teams for the investigation. So far, 137 individuals have been arrested in connection with the arson and vandalism. The state government also established a single-member judicial inquiry commission, led by retired judge C.B. Vajpayee, to investigate the Jaitkham vandalism. The commission has been tasked with identifying the perpetrators and understanding the causes of the incident, with a three-month deadline to submit its report.

Political Fallout and Community Impact

The violence has sparked a political tug-of-war between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress party. The Congress has criticized the BJP over the handling of law and order, while the BJP has suggested possible involvement of Congress leaders in escalating the violence.

Chhattisgarh is home to a significant population of the Satnami community, who follow the teachings of Guru Ghasidas Ji Maharaj. The community has been actively demanding a fair and thorough investigation into the Jaitkham vandalism, which they view as a serious affront to their religious and cultural heritage.

The arrest of Kishore Navrange is seen as a significant step towards uncovering the individuals responsible for the Balodabazar violence. The ongoing investigation and the judicial inquiry commission’s findings are expected to shed more light on the incident and help restore peace and order in the region.

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