10 Jun 2024

Chhattisgarh: Violence in Balodabazar-Bhatapara district, several govt offices, hundreds of vehicles torched

A mob, angry over the vandalism in the Satnami community's Jaitkhamb in Chhattisgarh's Balodabazar-Bhatapara district, set several government offices on fire on Monday.

Apart from setting fire to the offices of the district's Collector, SP, Panchayat, Tehsildar, the mob also vandalized vehicles parked in the vicinity. The violent mob set fire to the Collector's Office and the Superintendent of Police's Office. Due to this, hundreds of motorcycles and four-wheelers parked in the premises were burnt to ashes.

According to a police officer who spoke to the media, "A large number of people arrived and assaulted the police officers assigned to maintain security. Some officers sustained injuries during the attack. Subsequently, the enraged people engaged in acts of vandalism and arson."

CM convenes emergency meeting

Following this event, the state's Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai has convened an emergency meeting with the Director General of Police and the Home Secretary. Meanwhile, the state's Home Minister Vijay Sharma has departed from Delhi.

CM Sai tweeted: On the unpleasant situation arising in Baloda Bazar district, the IG and Commissioner have been instructed to immediately reach the spot. The Chief Secretary and DGP have been summoned and preliminary information of the incident has been obtained and a report of the incident has also been sought.

A large population of Chhattisgarh belongs to the Satnami community, who believe in Baba Ghasidas as their religious guru. The white flag of this community is hoisted on a pole, which is considered sacred.

It is alleged that some people vandalised a Jaitkham and a place of worship near Girodpuri, the main religious place of the Satnami community in Baloda Bazaar-Bhatapara, on the 15th of last month.

The police arrested three people in this case and sent them to jail. But the Satnami community alleges that the police is protecting the real accused in this case.

After this, the people of the Satnami community were protesting in the Dussehra ground of Baloda Bazaar for the last three days.

On Sunday, the state Home Minister had announced a judicial inquiry into the entire matter on social media. But the people of the community remained adamant on the demand for a CBI inquiry.

After this, on Monday, thousands of people of the Satnami community reached the Collector, SP, Panchayat and Tehsil offices and started vandalising.

During this, there was a scuffle with the police and then the mob started setting fire to government offices. The mob was so furious that two fire engines that had arrived to extinguish the fire were also set on fire. Police say that suspects in the case are being identified.

What was the matter

It is reported that on the night of 15-16 May, some anti-social elements tried to damage the Jaitkhambh near the sacred Amar Gufa of Girodpuri Dham. Police arrested three people in the case. On the other hand, the society says that there are many more accused behind the scenes in this case, who should be arrested. The state government has also announced to conduct a judicial inquiry.

More than 250 vehicles set on fire

More than 250 vehicles were set on fire. Many four-wheelers were set on fire. A fire engine was also set on fire. The angry mob pelted stones at the collectorate. The police somehow dispersed the mob. Collector and SP are present on the spot. Efforts are being made to control the situation.

Additional police force dispatched from Raipur

Additional police force has been dispatched from Raipur to deal with the violent protest of the community at Balodabazar Collectorate. Tear gas team along with riot control team have also been dispatched.

What is Jaitkham

Lakhs of people of Satnami community reside in Chhattisgarh. In Raipur and many nearby districts and villages, people of Satnami community have made their religious symbol Jaitkham. Jaitkham is the sacred symbol of the community, which the people of the community worship every day. Wherever the Satnami community resides in the state, Jaitkham is built there. In the capital Raipur alone, more than 100 Jaitkhams have been built by the people of the Satnami community. There is a white flag on top of the Jaitkham. The Guru of the Satnami community is Baba Guru Ghasidas.

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