Digvijaya, Cong MLA booked for poll code violation after protest over party worker's death

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Chhatarpur (MP), Nov 21 (PTI) Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, party MLA Vikram Singh Nati Raja and others were booked on Tuesday for alleged violation of the model code of conduct after they staged a sit-in without permission seeking the arrest of a BJP candidate over the death of a worker in Madhya Pradesh's Chhatarpur district, an official said.

A Congressman, identified as Salman Khan, had died during a clash between BJP and Congress workers in the Rajnagar constituency of Chhatarpur district on November 17 when the assembly elections were held in the state.

Following the incident, Digvijaya Singh and Nati Raja, along with their supporters had staged a protest by putting up a tent outside the Khajuraho Police Station on November 18-19 demanding the arrest of BJP candidate from Rajnagar Arvind Pateria.

Congress leaders have accused Pateria of orchestrating the killing of Khan, a charge denied by the former.

Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Vikram Singh said on the basis of a report submitted by the Chhatarpur additional collector, an FIR was registered on Tuesday under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) for violation of the model code of conduct, which is in force for the assembly elections.

The FIR (first information report) has named Digvijaya Singh, Nati Raja -- sitting MLA and the Congress candidate from Rajnagar -- and 60-70 other people.

BJP's Chhatarpur district president Malkhan Singh had earlier submitted a memorandum to the district administration, pointing out that Digvijaya Singh and other Congress leaders staged the sit-in without taking permission from authorities, thus violating the poll code.

According to the FIR, acting on the memorandum, the additional collector sent a report to the police stating no permission was granted by the local administration for the protest by opposition party leaders and their supporters.

After the death of Salman Khan, the police had registered a case on November 17 against Pateria and 20 BJP workers on charges of murder. After this, the ruling party had accused the police of adopting a biased attitude against the BJP under the Congress influence.

On November 19, the police, acting on a BJP complaint, registered a separate case against Congress nominee Nati Raja on charges of attempt to murder, rioting and under other relevant IPC sections. It was alleged Nati Raja had attacked Pateria with sticks and guns during the clash in which Congress worker Khan died.

According to the police, Khan died after he was run over by a vehicle.

The BJP has accused Nati Raja of orchestrating the killing of Khan to gain in elections. On the other hand, the Congress candidate has alleged Pateria was responsible for Khan's death. PTI ADU RSY

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