Congress leaders on Sunday took out a silent march in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur to protest the vandalisation of their city office. The party has blamed Bajrang Dal for the vandalism.
The Congress has been facing backlash from BJP and right-wing outfits for bracketing Bajrang Dal with the Popular Front of India (PFI) in its manifesto for the May 10 Karnataka polls.
The party leaders started from Shahid Smarak and ended their protest at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Town Hall, said a Congress functionary.
“Congressmen are Gandhians. We are not going to storm their office. We are going to do a peaceful protest till 200-odd Bajrang Dal men, some of them history-sheeters, are not arrested,” mayor and city Congress president Jagat Bahadur Singh told PTI.
The Congress has also demanded action against two inspectors from Kotwali and Lordganj police stations. These inspectors were deputed at the “Bajrang Dal’s protest site but were conspicuous by their absence”, Singh said.
After the Congress’ office in the Baldeo Bagh area was vandalised on Thursday, the Bajrang Dal claimed that it was involved in the act.
Two days ago, police said that they had arrested 10 persons, including prime accused Sumit Singh Thakur who is the “Vibhag Prachar Pramukh” of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of the VHP.
Earlier, a police official had said that they had booked 25 people based on video footage and a complaint for rampaging through the Congress city office.
Additional Superintendent of Police Priyanka Shukla could not be reached contacted despite repeated attempts to know how many people have been arrested to date.
The protesting Congress workers included Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha and MLAs Tarun Bhanot, Sanjay Yadav, and Lakhan Gangoria.