Updated: May 24, 2021 7:07:16 am
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra did not attend a scheduled meeting with police in Chhattisgarh on Sunday in connection with the alleged forgery of a Congress party letterhead and its subsequent misuse.
Patra has requested a fresh date for the meeting next week, police in Raipur said on Sunday. Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who too has been served a notice by police in the same matter, is scheduled to appear before them on Monday.
The FIR against Patra and Singh was filed at Raipur’s Civil Lines police station last Wednesday on a complaint by the president of the Chhattisgarh unit of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Akash Sharma, and Congress youth leader Koko Padhi, police said. The NSUI is the student wing of the Congress.
“The FIR has been registered against the BJP leaders under sections 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505(1)(b, c) (Statements conducing to public mischief), 469 (Forgery for purpose of harming reputation) and 198 (Using as true a certificate known to be false) of the Indian Penal Code. The complaint was filed for allegedly forging the letterhead of the AICC Research Department and printing false and fabricated content,” a senior police officer said.
Patra had been asked to appear either in person or through video conference on Sunday at 4 pm. “Patra did not appear for his appointment with us, instead he sent us an email asking for a week’s time to come back to Raipur Police,” police sources said.
On Thursday, police had served a notice on Raman Singh, seeking access to his social media account as part of the investigation against him.
Singh has been protesting against the Congress government of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel over the alleged Congress “toolkit” to defame the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP released the so-called toolkit — a document purportedly on a Congress letterhead, laying out plans for a campaign against Modi and the Centre over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic — on Tuesday.
“The Congress government is trying to cover up its failures in the state by attacking us. If the Congress wants to file complaints against us, what’s stopping them from putting us behind bars,” Singh said.
“The (Baghel) government has failed on all fronts, and has been only fighting with the central government over useless things,” he said.
The Congress has also filed a complaint with Delhi Police seeking the registration of an FIR against BJP president J P Nadda, Union Minister Smriti Irani, and BJP national general secretary B L Santhosh, besides Patra.
On Sunday, the BJP decided to launch a ‘jail bharo’ campaign, in which leaders across the state will protest in front of the police station, offering to be arrested. “Why only Raman Singh ji, we should all be booked for speaking the truth,” a senior Chhattisgarh BJP leader said.
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