The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jogi fights Shukla FIR with FIR

Raipur, June 6: The murder of Nationalist Congress Party treasurer Ram Avatar Jaggi has sparked a war of FIRs and a bandh here.

As Raipur almost totally shut down today in response to a bandh call by the NCP, the Ajit Jogi-led Congress government hit back, filing an FIR against Vidya Charan Shukla and his supporters under various sections, including dacoity.

Raipur police have booked the NCP state chief and his loyalists for reportedly storming a police station and pressuring a station house officer to file an FIR against the chief minister for allegedly having a hand in Jaggi’s killing yesterday. Jaggi’s son Satish, too, filed an FIR against Jogi.

In the FIR against Shukla, station house officer B.K. Pandey said: “I was forced by Vidya Charan Shukla, Dr Anil Varma, Pawan Soni, Pramod Choubey and about 100 to 150 supporters when they came to my chamber, forced me and pressured me to accept their complaint as an FIR.

“When I tried to explain that an FIR had already been registered…, they shouted at me, pressured me and finally snatched my mobile phone and landline phone from my hand and did not allow me to talk to any of my seniors or go out of my chamber and used foul language and threatened me.”

The SHO said he had been left no option but to accept their “false report”. After the incident, he had filed a report based on which a case had been registered against Shukla and his supporters, under various sections, including dacoity. Further investigations were on, he added.

Political experts say that by filing a counter FIR, Jogi appears to be “settling a personal score”. Throughout today, the AICC leader in charge of Chhattisgarh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, was in touch with the chief minister and is said to have advised him caution.

State inspector-general of police Ram Niwas said the second FIR that named the Jogis in Jaggi’s murder was “void”. He said the police recognised only the original FIR filed by a policeman, who investigated the crime and did not mention them.

As the battle of the FIRs raged, Shukla alleged that Yahya Daver, elder brother of Congress student wing leader Ejaz Daver, was one of the suspects in the murder. He also alleged that the Jogi regime was planning to arrest him to project Jaggi’s murder as a result of “business rivalry”.

“I accuse Jogi of trying to protect the killers. The police are not doing enough,” Shukla alleged.

The disquiet in the Congress over the killing gained momentum with senior leader Shyama Charan Shukla endorsing his younger brother and the state NCP chief’s demand for a CBI probe. Shyama Charan Shukla is a former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and has traditionally opposed Vidya Charan Shukla’s politics.

Jaggi’s murder has snowballed into a major political controversy and given the NCP a campaign point in the November Assembly elections.

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