A clash broke out in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal, during a protest march to Raj Bhavan by Congress leaders and workers against the three new farm laws on Saturday, January 23. The clash left more than 50 people, including party workers and five police officers injured, reported The Indian Express.
The clash occurred at the barricaded GTB area close to Roshan Pura square.
The police detained 110 party men, including former chief minister and Rajya Sabha member MP Digvijay Singh, but were released on the same day. Former state minister PC Sharma, MLA Jaivardhan Singh, Kunal Chaudhary were also detained.
The march was a part of a two-week campaign by the Congress to show solidarity with the farmers protesting at the Delhi border points.
TT Nagar area City Superintendent of Police (CSP) Umesh Tiwari said the march was carried out with any prior permission. The department took action at the Roshan Pura area after the protestors tried to break the barricades while heading towards Raj Bhawan.
"Police first used water cannons, then fired tear gas shells. The protesters threw stones, broke down barricades and attacked police personnel, prompting the Police to resort to mild lathi-charge," The Tribune quoted Tiwari as saying.
However, the party denied allegations and asserted that the march was carried out peacefully when the police suddenly resorted to lathi-charge. The CSP denied that police used force to suppress the protest.
A case has been registered at TT Nagar police station against several Congress workers for carrying out the rally without permission and breaching the peace under sections 147 (Punishment for rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), and 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code.
State party unit chief Kamal Nath led the protest. Addressing the protesters, Nath said the three new farm laws enacted by the Central government were completely anti-farmer and benefited only the capitalists.
He said that the government did not consider small and marginalised farmers while making the laws. "The mandis (Agri markets) and Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime will come to an end if these legislations are implemented. Farming would become a contractual affair," he added.