Chhatisgarh Police Arrests Controversial Hindu Leader In MP, Row Erupts

Bhopal: The Chhattisgarh police on Thursday arrested controversial Hindu seer Abhijeet Dhananjay Saraag, alias Kalicharan Maharaj, from Madhya Pradesh and booked him for sedition for allegedly derogatory comments against Mahatma Gandhi at an event in Raipur last week. In the evening, a local court in Raipur sent Kalicharan to police custody till January 1, police said.

The arrest, however, led to a slugfest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led MP government and the Congress government in Chhattisgarh.

MP home minister Narottam Mishra said Chhattisgarh police arrested Kalicharan without informing their counterparts in the state. He added that a “strong protest” will be lodged with Chhattisgarh DGP over the way the seer was arrested.

Denying the charge, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel asked Mishra whether he was “happy or sad with the arrest of the person who abused Mahatma Gandhi”. Baghel also said action will be taken against those using “abusive language against Father of the Nation…”

Earlier, Raipur SP Prashant Agrawal said that acting on a specific input, a team of Raipur police apprehended Kalicharan at around 4 am from a rented room near Bageshwar Dham, located about 25 km from Khajuraho town in MP.

On the basis of evidence, relevant IPC sections have been included to the FIR lodged against Kalicharan on December 26, Agrawal said.

Reacting to the arrest, MP home minister Mishra said, “Whatever Kalicharanji did was objectionable but his arrest was also against the spirit of federalism… They should have informed MP police before the arrest or local police after.”

MP Congress MLA Kunal Chaudhary accused Mishra for giving shelter to a person who insulted Mahatma Gandhi.

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