The administration was left baffled after a group of farmers in Chhatarpur held a protest against frequent power cuts by waving the Union Jack, the flag of the United Kingdom.
The police and BJP MLAs said the farmers were incapable of holding such a protest and claimed that some one instigated them into carrying out the act.
Frustrated by power cuts lasting hours, some farmers from Para village protested at the district headquarters in Chhatarpur on Thursday and followed it up with an attempt to block a highway on Friday.
The administration took cognizance of the protest on Friday after seeing photographs in local newspapers. A sub-divisional magistrate was sent to the spot and the protesters agreed to end the blockade only after getting an assurance about quick restoration of electricity supply.
“We have launched an investigation to find out who instigated them,’’ Chhatarpur SP Lalit Shakyavar told The Indian Express. A case has been registered under Sections 147, 149, 186, 341, 505 (b) of the IPC. While the first two sections deal with rioting, Sections 186 and 341 deal with “obstruction of public servants on duty” and “wrongful restraint” respectively. Section 505 (b) that covers the offence of waving the Union Jack.
Investigating Officer Keshav Arjaria said the protesters were led by one Chatur Singh. “We are going through video recordings of both the protests. There were 11 to 12 farmers holding the flag,’’ he said.
“It’s an insult to the freedom fighters who laid their lives to oust the British. It’s a conspiracy. Investigations are on to find out who is behind it,’’ BJP MLA from Chhatarpur Lalita Yadav said. She said four BJP MLAs raised the matter at a meeting with the senior police officers.
Bijawar MLA Pushpendra Pathak said there could be an “international hand” behind the protests.
The protesters probably did not even know that they were carrying the Union Flag. He claimed that someone downloaded the flag from the internet and printed it in large numbers.