Bhopal: Protest over Navratri guidelines turn violent, vehicles damage; 25 arrested

Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse activists of  religious organisations who turned violent while protesting against the state government's restrictions and guidelines for Durga Puja, Navratri celebrations amid the Covid-19 pandemic at Roshanpura square on Sunday. Police arrested 25 persons for vandalising public property and rioting. A rally was organised under a joint aegis of religious organisations Sanskriti Bachao Manch, Maa Bhawani Sngathan, Bajrang Dal and others on Sunday. The protest was organised on Sunday by the religious outfits against the new guidelines related to height of the deity and statue of the Goddess during Navratri. They were also objecting to the size of pandal as fixed by the administration.

As the rally reached Roshanpura square around 11 am, the cops blocked their way and stopped them from marching further. However, heated argument ensued after the protestors insisted that either collector or SDM should take their memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister. The demonstration turned violent as the protestors vandalised vehicles parked near Jaistambh. Around 7 two-wheelers were damaged in the protests. Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protestors. Police have arrested 25 persons from the spot and booked them along with others under Sections 147, 341 and 427 of IPC, for vandalising public property and rioting.

Sanskriti Bachao Manch leader Chandrashekhar Tiwari claimed that they were peacefully protesting and demanding that their memorandum be taken to the CM. We were only urging the government to relax the guidelines and if it continued with the same we will adhere to the present norms, he added.

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