The Congress tried to gherao Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh’s official residence here to protest the arrest of journalist Vinod Verma and demanded dismissal of state PWD minister Rajesh Munat over alleged sex CD row, but the police foiled their bid. According to police, at least 365 Congress workers, including 14 MLAs and 2 MPs, were taken into custody. Barricades were installed near Akashvani Kendra to stop the protesters, a local police official said.
“As many as 365 Congress leaders and workers were arrested under preventive measures while they were marching towards the CM house,” he said, adding they were later released unconditionally. Addressing the party workers before the protest, the state unit Congress president Bhupesh Baghel said the arrest of the journalist is a conspiracy of the ruling BJP to “muzzle” the media. He further said the PWD minister should be removed till the investigation into the sex CD row allegedly featuring him gets completed.
The alleged sex video has sparked a political row in the state with the Congress and BJP trading barbs. The matter came to light of October 27 when Verma was arrested from Ghaziabad by the Chhattisgarh police. As Verma was being escorted by the police, he claimed that the Chhattisgarh government was not happy with him as it suspected that he had a “sex CD of Chhattisgarh PWD Minister Rajesh Munot” and suggested he was being framed. Munat, however, had told reporters that Congress and Verma were trying to tarnish his image through the “fake” CD. He had lodged a complaint against Verma with Civil Lines police station here. PTI TKP NSK 10292350