Raipur, March 25 (IANS) Over 100 workers of Chhattisgarh’s opposition Congress party were arrested Sunday in the state capital Raipur during a street protest over an alleged police assault on tribals March 19.
Police say they were forced to arrest Congress leaders as they defied warnings and jumped police barricades while marching through the Budha Talab area. Before the arrests, police personnel and the protesters clashed for a brief period and the cops resorted to a baton charge to control the situation.
The Congress workers were mainly protesting police assault on several hundred tribal men and women here when they were marching towards the state assembly March 19 to press for higher percentage of quota in government jobs in the state for the tribal community that forms nearly 32 percent of Chhattisgarh’s 2.55 crore population.
Dozens of tribal leaders were injured in the police action while 75 tribal leaders were arrested and kept in the central jail here for two days and were released only after the Congress created a ruckus in the state assembly against the assault and arrest.
The Congress said the tribal leaders were chased and beaten up by the police on instructions from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime.
The Congress said in a statement that thousands of party cadres participated in the protest rally Sunday. The party also warned it would intensify the stir against the BJP regime on the issue of alleged police brutalities against tribals.