Chhattisgarh: Villagers block highway demanding paddy procurement centre; three cops injured in stone-pelting

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Three policemen were injured when an agitation for a paddy procurement centre turned violent in Chhattisgarh‘s Gariaband district, an official said on Tuesday. Videos of the incident which went viral showed protestors throwing stones at the police and also targeting government vehicles.

The incident took place on Monday when residents of Kandekala village staged a ‘chakka jam’ (blockade) on National Highway 130 near Dhurvagudi village, a senior police official said. The residents of Kandekala had been demanding that a paddy procurement centre currently located in Bhejipadar, two km away, be shifted to their village, he said.

Senior government officials tried to pacify the protesters but suddenly there was stone-pelting, he added. Some private vehicles which had come to a halt due to the agitation were also damaged. Videos of the incident also showed the protesters overturning a police vehicle. The policemen injured in stone-pelting were taken to a local hospital and they were said to be out of danger, the official added.

Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and the situation was brought under control, he said. Earlier, villagers of three nearby villages had submitted a memorandum to the administration stating that they did not have any problem selling paddy at the Bhejipadar centre, the official claimed.
Three First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered against the protestors under sections 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353(assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 294 (obscene acts and songs), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and also under the Public Property (Prevention of Damage) Act, he said, adding that further investigation is underway.

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