April 5, 2021 2:16:34 am
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Amreli, Abhay Soni was transferred out of the district Sunday, hours after he ordered a group of BJP workers to disperse from a park in Amreli town. The state home department order stated Soni has been transferred to battalion quarter master of the State Reserve Police Force for industrial security in Gandhinagar with immediate effect.
While the local BJP claimed the ASP had “beat up” their workers who were making preparations to host party chief CR Paatil, Soni said he had asked them to disperse as it was late in the night.
“A vaccination camp was going on at the Senior Citizen Park and the government, NGOs and cooperative sector had joined hands to scale it up for Sunday. As state BJP president was to visit the camp, it was necessary to set up a saminana, make seating arrangements, etc. While our workers were doing this, the ASP came and without any warning he started beating up our workers. Two of them had to be hospitalised,” Dilip Sanghani, former minister and a cooperative leader of the BJP in Amreli said.
Sanghani said the party workers wanted to stage dharna but were dissuaded. “I rang up the CM, Paatil and Inspector General (Bhavnagar range) and later sent e-mails stating while the government was trying to speed up vaccination, the police officers were preventing people from working. I am thankful to the CM that he ensured transfer of the ASP in no time,” the BJP leader told The Indian Express.
Soni denied he had slapped anybody. “All we had done was to ask them to disperse as it was already past 11 pm but they did not cooperate. An argument happened and some pushing and pulling happened. We told them to come with us but they refused. During that time somebody fell down,” the 2017-batch IPS officer said. Asked if he was transferred due to the incident, Soni said: “I don’t know. I’ll just follow the orders.”
Leader of Opposition in state Assembly, Paresh Dhanani slammed the government. The MLA from Amreli constituency tweeted while those breaking the law were the ‘karyakartas’, “but the guards (police) go to the jail”. He claimed the officer was trapped in a crossfire between the CM and the BJP president “for dominance in the state”.
Meanwhile, Paatil visited Amreli and Savarkundla towns Sunday. “We had organised vaccination camps at 28 locations in Amreli district and had set a target of vaccinating 5,000 people,” Sanghani said.
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