Video clips that later surfaced show District Collector Nidhi Nivedita slapping a man and additional collector Priya Verma taking on some men who were part of the crowd
Video clips that later surfaced show District Collector Nidhi Nivedita slapping a man and additional collector Priya Verma taking on some men who were part of the crowd
Photo: ANI/Twitter video screengrab

A pro-Citizenship Amendment Act rally in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday saw 'unruly' protesters clash with local officials.

Video clips that later surfaced show District Collector Nidhi Nivedita slapping a man and additional collector Priya Verma taking on some men who were part of the crowd.

The rally was taken out in Biaora town despite despite prohibitory orders having been placed in Rajgarh since Saturday night. The rally was organised by the BJP, and repeated pleas to the saffron party to call it off fell on deaf ears, some officials told PTI.

Additional Collector Verma told PTI on Sunday night that some men from the crowd misbehaved with her and the collector.

She denied that they had resorted to high-handed behaviour, as alleged by the Opposition party.

"Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC are in place in the district. While we were doing our duty, a crowd came from the other side and misbehaved with us," she said.

Verma said a man pulled her hair from back while another kicked her in the waist.

"All that (she taking on some men) happened after it. Despite our requests to the protesters to sit down, they did not pay any heed," she claimed.

Verma denied that police resorted to cane charging to disperse the crowd.

An FIR has been registered against 124 persons for violation of Section 144 in Rajgarh on Sunday during a demonstration held by BJP workers in support of the CAA. 17 accused have been arrested.

An FIR has also been registered against two people for hitting Verma and pulling her hair during the demonstration. One of the accused has been arrested.

The BJP however hit out at the two bureaucrats and claimed 'Hitlerism' would not be tolerated in Madhya Pradesh.

The opposition BJP in Madhya Pradesh on Monday said it would launch an agitation against the Congress government over the incident. A delegation of the party also made its way to the area to take stock of the situation.

Reacting to the incident, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said it was the "black letter day" in democracy.

"Collector madam, which law book you have read empowers you to beat up and drag citizens protesting peacefully," Chouhan said in a tweet.

Speaking to ANI he added, "Collector slapped people who were chanting 'Bharat Mata ki jai' and holding tricolor in their hands, this is too much. We will not tolerate this at any cost. Did Kamal Nath order Collector to do this?" he asked.

He further tweeted that the Congress-led government should hear it clear and loud that "Hitlerism with people of MP would not be tolerated at any cost".

Shivraj Singh Chouhan also said that the BJP will move court if a case is not registered against Rajgarh district collector Nidhi Nivedita.

The Kamal Nath government has opposed the CAA passed by Parliament recently.

CAA provides for granting citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who had migrated to India before December 31, 2014.

(With inputs from agencies)

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