On Tuesday afternoon, the Bilaspur Congress had organised a protest at the residence of Industries Minister Amar Agarwal, where they intended to throw garbage in his house in a ‘symbolic’ and peaceful protest against the state of cleanliness in the city. The also undertook this protest to mark their angst against comments made by the minister against the Congress.
However, the Congress workers were beaten by the police after they spilled garbage at Agarwal’s house. Over a dozen Congress workers were injured in the lathicharge by the police including a senior party leader Atal Srivastava.
A video was shot and captured, amidst the commotion, showing police brutally assaulting Congress general secretary Atal Srivastav and other party workers for taking part in a protest outside industries minister Amar Agarwal residence in Bilaspur.
As per the statement from Congress leaders, the party members had gathered to protest peacefully and in the right democratic way against Agarwal, who is also the Bilaspur MLA, however, they were attacked by the police on two separate occasions. Some leaders also alleged that the party members were dragged out from within the Congress bhawan in the city.
State party president Bhupesh Baghel had condemned the incident, saying that the Chhattisgarh government has displayed is dictatorial tendencies, and has called for a judicial enquiry.
A day after the party workers were lathicharged in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district, party President Rahul Gandhi criticized the Narendra Modi government saying that dictatorship has become a “profession” and the attack would be remembered as an act of “political atrocity”. Gandhi tweeted his displeasure with this unfortunate incident attaching the video of the lathicharge on the party workers by Chhattisgarh Police.
नरेंद्र मोदी की हुकूमत में तानाशाही एक पेशा बन गया है| बिलासपुर में रमन सिंह की सरकार द्वारा कांग्रेस कार्यकर्ताओं के मौलिक अधिकारों पर बुज़दिली से किए गए इस प्रहार को वहाँ की जनता सियासी ज़ुल्म के रूप में याद रखेगी| pic.twitter.com/to7LDkXzEt
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 19, 2018
Other senior party leaders of the Congress also shared their views on the lathicharge incident:
बिलासपुर में कांग्रेस कार्यालय में कार्यकर्ताओं पर पुलिस द्वारा किए गए लाठीचार्ज की मैं कड़ी निंदा करता हूँ। शांतिपूर्ण प्रदर्शन को दबाने के ऐसे प्रयास अलोकतांत्रिक हैं।#Undeclared_Emergency pic.twitter.com/yOGuK8qQa4
— Jyotiraditya Scindia (@JM_Scindia) September 19, 2018
The Bilaspur visuals of Congress workers being brutally beaten up show the desperation of a loser. #BJPKiHitlerShahi
— Pawan Khera (@Pawankhera) September 19, 2018
Just look at the brutality of BJP. They unleashed their barbarity on innocent Congress workers because they are afraid of people's questions. Their brutality and fascism will be answered by the people with the power of ballot. #BJPKiHitlerShahi pic.twitter.com/KAaIJHvJ6n
— Niranjan Patnaik (@NPatnaikOdisha) September 19, 2018
We condemn in the strongest terms the harsh treatment of our @INCIndia workers in Chhattisgarh. This is simply unacceptable and unbecoming of our democratic fabric.
Yet another reminder that Chhattisgarh needs change.
— AIPC (@ProfCong) September 19, 2018
#बिलासपुर #कांग्रेस भवन में रमन सिंह की पुलिस का दमन. बुरी तरह से मंत्री @amaragrawalBJP के निर्देश पर लाठियां चलाई गईं. #अंग्रेजों की तरह #बर्बरता की गई. नहीं डरेंगे #अत्याचारों से@INCIndia @RahulGandhi @plpunia @INCChhattisgarh @Bhupesh_Baghel @TS_SinghDeo @DrCharandas pic.twitter.com/FkpFLCOws3
— ATAL SHRIVASTAVA (@ATALSHRIVASTAV1) September 18, 2018
— ATAL SHRIVASTAVA (@ATALSHRIVASTAV1) September 18, 2018
छत्तीसगढ़ के डीजीपी कहते हैं कि उन्हें लाठीचार्ज की घटना की जानकारी नहीं है इसका मतलब बड़ा साफ है की लाठीचार्ज का आदेश पुलिस विभाग ने नहीं किसी दूसरे ने दिया था #BJPKiHitlerSHAHi
— R. P. Singh (@rpsinghraipur) September 19, 2018
— Shobha Oza (@Shobha_Oza) September 19, 2018
प्रदेश भर में आज दमन सरकार का पुतला दहन किया जाएगा तथा कांग्रेस किसी भी पुलिस अधिकारी को बक्शेगी नहीं जिसने निर्दोषों का लहू बहाया है ,न्यायायिक जांच की मांग कर दी गयी है वैसे सभी जानते हैं आदेश उप्पर से था और वह किसका था। @Bhupesh_Baghel #BJPKiHitlerShahi pic.twitter.com/2yT8Xx7Ch2
— Jay Wardhan Bissa (@jaywardhanbissa) September 19, 2018
However, this is not the first time Rahul Gandhi has referred to Narendra Modi as a dictator. Earlier in May 2018 as well, the Congress President had trained his guns at the Prime Minister indirectly referring to him as an authoritarian, pointing out how a murder accused was appointed as National President of a political party for the first time. Mr. Gandhi, at Balbir Singh Juneja Indoor Stadium in Raipur, had launched a blistering attack on the Modi government by equating the National Democratic Alliance rule to a dictatorship like Pakistan and some African countries where the Judiciary, the media and even some lawmakers are under constant fear.
“The judiciary is under fear, the press is under fear and even some BJP MPs are under the same fear as they cannot utter a single word before the Prime Minister,” he alleged as reported by India Today.
In November 2015, the Prime Minister had come under vociferous attack from the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi as well as Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, who had accused him of being “dictatorial” and using the smokescreen of development to mask communal agenda.
Castigating the ruling dispensation over a number of incidents like Dadri lynching and burning of Dalit children in Haryana amid the raging debate on intolerance, Mrs. Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other top leaders tried to put the Modi dispensation on the mat.
Sonia Gandhi had then said,
“Simply because someone holds a different view or disagrees they cannot be branded a traitor. This is neither the way of our democracy nor a form of patriotism. It is a form of dictatorship.”
“Today, we are witnessing attempts by certain individuals and elements to whitewash their communal agenda in front of the world by hiding it behind the mask of development.”
“Development is used as a buzzword, again and again. It is ironic that they speak of development yet fail to learn from the legacy and lessons of the man synonymous with laying the foundation of India’s growth-Nehruji,” she said.