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Chhattisgarh CM defends police action
May 26, 2007 19:43 IST
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Saturday virtually defended the police assault on villagers protesting the murder of a hotel-owner in Surjapur district.
"It happens in a crowd, and the old and women face difficulties," Singh told reporters in Raipur when his attention was drawn to reports of police kicking an aged man on his face and caning villagers in Ajaib Nagar, 525 km from Raipur.
The villagers were protesting the murder of a hotel-owner, Vijay Deonath, on Thursday and demanding the arrest of the persons involved in the crime.
At least 59 people, including 35 policemen, were injured in the clashes.
Reports reaching Raipur said fearing more police action, men from Ajaib Nagar village have gone into hiding.
Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam, in whose native district the incident occurred, also defended the police action saying people provoked the security forces and assaulted them first.
"Every one commits mistakes. But one has to wait for the outcome of the magistrate inquiry into the incident before taking any action," he said.