A BJP MP has been booked in connection with the alleged assault of a toll plaza employee in Agra during an argument over paying toll, which took place early Saturday morning. An FIR has been registered against Ram Shankar Katheria, the MP from Etawah, and an unknown accused under IPC Sections 147 (rioting), 336 (act endangering safety of others), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and relevant sections of the Arms Act by Agra Police.
According to purported CCTV footage of the incident, a man can be seen slapping a toll worker. Soon afterwards, another man, allegedly from the MP’s security cordon, fires two gunshots in the air. Police said they are ascertaining if the man who slapped the toll worker is the MP or his security personnel.
“The footage has been submitted as evidence and we are examining it. The FIR has been registered by toll plaza workers. The victims have been sent for medical examination. The next step is to verify claims made in the complaint and proceed with the legal step,” said Additional SP (West Agra) Ravi Kumar.
The incident took place at a toll plaza in Agra’s Etmadpur when the MP’s cavalcade, which included five cars and a bus, was crossing it while on its way from Delhi to Etawah. According to police, toll workers asked for Rs 110 and also requested the MP to move the cars aside for others to pass. An argument broke out and the MP allegedly stepped out of the car with his security personnel.
The argument escalated and one of the men allegedly slapped a toll employee. Toll employees told police that another person fired two rounds in the air to intimidate them.
Rakesh, a toll employee, alleged: “There was a bus in their convoy for which the toll is 110. We asked for it since it would have been cut from our pocket otherwise. We requested them but the security personnel stepped out. One armed guard said he would empty six bullets in us. They hit us with a stick. The MP stood there and orchestrated it. They were very aggressive.”
While the MP could not be contacted, he told mediapersons earlier in the day: “My security did not attack toll plaza employees; they attacked my people first. Toll employees did not know other cars were part of my convoy; they thought some other car is slipping through behind mine. My security guard only fired in self defence.”
Katheria is currently the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.