Five arrested, cops suspended for Friendship Day attacks (Lead)

August 2nd, 2010 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Raipur, Aug 2 (IANS) The Chhattisgarh government suspended 10 policemen Monday, a day after several girls and boys were attacked by activists of Hindu right-wing group Dharma Sena opposed to Friendship Day celebrations in capital Raipur. Five people have been arrested.
The decision was announced by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the assembly amid an opposition protest over the issue.

“As many as 10 policemen were suspended and five people were arrested Monday and the government would make more arrests soon,” Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar told the house, amid opposition’s demand for his resignation.

Congress members raised slogans during zero hour displaying photographs that appeared in local newspapers in which youths reportedly belonging to the Dharma Sena were seen kicking, punching and thrashing girls and boys in Raipur’s gardens and hotels as part of Friendship Day activities.

The Congress members termed the incident as “a communal thinking of the state government as the incident took place in presence of policemen”.

The act was orchestrated by goons of the BJP, the opposition alleged, prompting the home minister to announce the suspension of the policemen.

Legislators of the Congress, that has a strength of 39 in a 90-member house, walked out of the assembly saying that the acts of the Dharma Sena and the Bajrang Dal were acts of “insult of girls under police presence”.

Congress members led by Ravindra Choubey, leader of the opposition, said that act of Dharma Sena and Bajrang Dal cadres were highly deplorable as they assaulted even the brother and sisters who were dining out in restaurants Sunday.

He said faces of young boys and girls were blackened by the goons who assaulted them in public.

Chief Minister Raman Singh who was present in the house during the uproar preferred to be silent even when Congress members taunted his home minister as “a helpless minister”.

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