States & UTs

    Vehicles, govt building torched as protest by Satnami community turns violent in Chhattisgarh

    The Hawk
    June10/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Angry protesters clashed with police, leading to stone-pelting and arson. The state government has ordered a judicial probe into the incident.

    Representative image

    Balodabazar: Several cars, motorcycles and a government building were torched after a protest called by the Satnami community to denounce damage to their religious pillar in Chhattisgarh's Balodabazar city turned violent on Monday, officials said.

    Angry protesters also pelted stones at police personnel, they said. On the intervening night of May 15-16, unidentified persons vandalized a 'jaitkhamb', a structure worshipped by the Satnami community as a sacred symbol, near holy Amar Gufa in Giroudpuri dham in Balodabazar district.

    To protest against the incident, the Satnami community had called for a demonstration at Dussehra Maidan here and gherao of the collector's office on Monday.

    A large number of Satnami community members gathered to attend the protest. Police had put barricades at several places to stop the protestors from heading towards the collectorate.

    "The Satnami community had called for a peaceful demonstration but the protest turned violent. Protesters pelted stones at police personnel and entered the collectorate by breaking barricades. They pelted stones at the office building and torched several vehicles parked there," said Balodabazar Superintendent of Police Sadanand Kumar.

    Efforts were on to control the situation, he said. Visuals from the protest site showed several motorcycles, cars and the SP office building in the collectorate in flames. A fire brigade vehicle was also torched by the mob. The protesters were seen clashing with police personnel.

    The state government has already ordered a judicial probe into the vandalization of 'jaitkhamb', an official said.

    "On the demand of various organizations and representatives of the Satnami community, Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Sharma, who also holds Home portfolio, has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident," the official said.

    Sharma, in a statement on Monday morning, said incidents that disturb social harmony will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against the culprits. The Deputy CM urged people to maintain peace and social harmony. The influential Satnami community, founded by medieval era social reformer Baba Ghasidas, represents a majority of scheduled castes in Chhattisgarh.