The case of police atrocity on members of a Dalit family in Guna district has heated up the politics of Madhya Pradesh. The Congress has gone belligerent on the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government accusing it of persecuting Dalits and the poor, even as the administration in a strong move removed the IG of Gwalior division, the Guna Superintendent of Police and the District Magistrate.
The Dalit family was brutally beaten up by the police during an anti-encroachment drive. Videos on social media showed a man, his wife and two children at the receiving end of the police action. The man was seen being dragged by the police after being beaten up as the woman and the children begged and grovelled in the dust of the open field, where he was engaged.
The man faced the brunt of police action for occupying the piece of land meant for college building in Cantt area of Guna. This incident dates back a few days ago. The Dalit couple had then consumed insecticide. The video of the incident went viral on the social media and now, the matter has taken on political hue with the Congress targeting the state government for being anti-Dalit.
The government also swung into action and removed the administrative staff after ordering an inquiry.
Political analysts say that the incident happened in the area from where Jyotiraditya Scindia, who moved to the BJP in March after toppling the Congress government, has been MP and the assembly bypolls are going to be held in 16 constituencies in the Gwalior-Chambal division soon.
It is for this, the Congress has started training guns at the Shivraj government.
Former Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who is also the MPCC president, has questioned the excesses that were inflicted to the Dalit family and asked, "Will Shivraj government show such courage to redeem thousands of acres of government land occupied by the so-called public servants and influencers in these areas? Such an incident cannot be tolerated. Immediate action should be taken against the culprits, otherwise the Congress will not remain silent."
Retweeting a tweet of the Congress party, the former chief minister said, the Congress has always supported the poor and farmers in their fight against injustice. "This inhuman act of the Shivraj government has exposed the dictatorship in him. This is the beginning of the end of the Shivraj government in Madhya Pradesh," he said.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, now Rajya Sabha MP from the BJP, quickly damage controlled with the statement that Guna SP and Collector have been removed, and the incident is being investigated. "I am confident that action will be taken against all those responsible for this heinous crime," he said.
Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that there is a rule of law in Madhya Pradesh. "As soon as we came to know about the unfortunate incident in Guna, we took prompt action. This is not the Congress government. Immediate action was taken in this case. IG, Collector and SP have been removed as soon as we came to know of the incident," Mishra said.
Former Madhya Pradesh Congress president and former Union Minister Arun Yadav said that the police are ruthlessly attacking the unarmed Dalit farmers in the state while big criminals roam freely. The cries of these innocent poor people will lead to the fall of the Shivraj government, he said.
(With input from agencies)