Police have registered a case against a leader of the ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh for allegedly assaulting an employee of a government hospital in Bilaspur district, an official said on Wednesday.
The case against Pankaj Singh, former secretary of Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC), was booked on Tuesday at Kotwali police station here, he said.
The leader is said to be closely associated with state’s Health Minister T S Singh Deo.
Congress MLA Shailesh Pandey termed the action as a “political conspiracy” and claimed that the leader was being implicated for his closeness to Singh Deo.
According to police, the alleged assault incident took place on September 18 at Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS) hospital here.
“On September 18, Singh had reached the hospital on the call of a patient who had come to the hospital for an MRI examination. Singh had an argument with Tulachand Tande, technician of the radiology department of the hospital, and allegedly manhandled and abused him,” Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Dipak Jha said.
Tande later lodged a complaint in this connection and after examination of CCTV footage and recording the statements of witnesses, the case was registered, he said.
Singh was booked under IPC sections 186 (obstructing a public servant in the discharge of his public functions) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and section 3 of Chhattisgarh Medical Service Persons and Medical Service Institutions Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property Act-2010, the SP said.
Singh is yet to be arrested and the investigation into the matter is underway, Jha said, adding that further action will be taken accordingly.
Meanwhile, Pandey, who represents the Bilaspur Assembly constituency, reached Kotwali police station on Wednesday along with Singh and a large number of their supporters, where they raised slogans against the police for filing the FIR.
Talking to reporters, Pandey, who is also considered a staunch supporter of Singh Deo, accused the police of lodging the case on the direction of the higher authorities.
Terming the action as a political conspiracy, he said, “According to police, the action was taken on the direction of higher officials, but are not able to tell from whom they got the orders. We are being harassed because we are close to Singh Deo?” Last year, I was booked by the police while I was distributing rations to the poor during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.”
Head of the state Congress’s communication wing, Shailesh Nitin Trivedi, said the issue was completely non-political as the case was registered after receiving a complaint against Singh.
“In Chhattisgarh, there is rule of law and everyone is equal before the law. Even the CM’s father was booked and arrested by the police (for allegedly giving objectionable statements against a particular community),” Trivedi said.
The FIR could further trigger the ongoing reported tussle between Singh Deo and Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel camps.
The two top leaders have been at loggerheads with the former apparently seeking a change in leadership citing a purported power-sharing agreement on rotating chief ministership after the party came to power in the 2018 assembly polls.