Bhojshala stir: Protest leader alleges torture, goes to court

Sep 28 2013, 02:54 IST
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SummaryThe high court asked the police why Sharma was not produced in a court within 24 hours of his arrest.

A former RSS activist has gone to court, alleging that the BJP government had him tortured and nearly murdered in a bid to scuttle his campaign at Bhojshala, a disputed religious site in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh.

Nawal Kishore Sharma pleaded the Madhya Pradesh high court to cancel a case registered against him, and order action against those responsible and a CBI investigation “to unearth a larger conspiracy aimed at appeasement of Muslims”.

The court admitted his petition and directed several police officers, including an SP, to appear before it on October 7.

Dhar is gripped with communal tension whenever Basant Panchmi falls on Friday — February 15 this year was one such rare occasion — and both Hindus and Muslims are allowed to pray at the site, though at different times.

Sharma was one of the Sangh Parivar leaders behind the agitation to “free” Bhojshala, which both Hindus and Muslims claim as theirs.

He left RSS in 2010, after nearly two decades, but continued the campaign, separately. His agitation, devoid of his Sangh clout, lost steam however.

In early February, as communal tension was building up, the police arrested Sharma from Jabalpur and charged him with carrying a weapon.

Sharma has alleged that the police took him to Lasudia police station and beat him. Sharma has also alleged that the police took him to a forest to kill him but changed their plan at the last moment. He spent nearly four weeks in jail before he was bail out. He moved the court last month.

The high court asked the police why Sharma was not produced in a court within 24 hours of his arrest, but they failed to explain, Sharma’s counsel Manish Vijayvargiya said. So it summoned the police officers.

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