Supporters of Asaram Bapu attacked journalists in Raipur on Sunday and injured at least six of them,during a protest against his arrest.
Hundreds of angry supporters,assisted by Shiv Sainiks and Bajrang Dal members,blocked the Airport Road and caused a traffic jam of over two kilometres. As journalists reached the spot,the protesters assaulted some of them and damaged their cameras.
TV channels ran footage of the angry mob thrashing reporters,drawing the ire of mediapersons in the Chhattisgarh capital. Major channels and evening newspapers carried stories condemning the incident. The mob also beat up passers-by. In some cases,the protesters forced people to come out of their cars and then thrashed them.
It took over two hours for the police to clear the road. Journalists alleged that BJP members were also among the crowd and the police remained silent spectators for long. The city police have registered a case against unidentified persons involved in the incident.
Chief Minister Raman Singh,however,defended the controversial godman and said,No innocent should be punished.
The Congress strongly condemned the incident and demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits. This is fascism of the worst kind,totally supported by the BJP government. We give an ultimatum of 24 hours. If the accused are still not arrested,we will take to the streets, party spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said.