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MP minister who threatened lady officer in jail

November 11, 2008 18:12 IST

Madhya Pradesh [Images] Tourism Minister Tukoji Rao Pawar was on Tuesday arrested by police for allegedly threatening and intimidating a lady returning officer and sent to jail by a court in a dramatic action days ahead of assembly elections in the BJP-ruled state.

Along with Pawar, who is the BJP candidate from Dewas and the erstwhile royal scion of Dewas, another ruling party nominee from Sonkatch Phool Chand Verma was also arrested and jailed in connection with the incident last Saturday.

The arrests came a day after Sub-Divisional Magistrate Sanjana [Images] Jain, Returning Officer for Sonkatch, lodged a complaint against them for obstructing official work and threatening her following a dispute over a poll-related issue.

Both Pawar and Verma were later produced in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Jasveer Kaur Sasan who sent them to judicial remand till November 24 after the two leaders refused to apply for bail, official sources said.

The Dewas police on Monday booked both Pawar and Verma under sections 353 and 504 of the IPC following the complaint.

The case arose when Pawar along with Verma had gone to meet Jain to complain that the Congress nominee from the Sonkatch, Sajjan Singh Verma had not filed his 'A' and 'B' poll form in time. The two BJP men later had a heated argument with her on the issue and were seen on camera throwing a paper and banging the official's table.

The administration has a video recording of the meeting between following which action was taken against the minister and his party colleague.

The Election Commission meanwhile ordered the transfer of Dewas collector following laxity on his part in sending a report on the incident. Jain also came in for praise from the Commission for performing her poll duties without any fear or favour and will be getting a letter of appreciation, official sources said.

Section 353 of IPC relates to assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty while 504 deals with intentional insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace.

Following the EC order, the state government on Monday appointed Sanjay Shukla in place of Navneet Kothari as the new collector of Dewas, official sources said on Tuesday.

Besides, the EC also ordered the transfer of Datia collector as he was not well and replaced him with Pradeep Khare as the new collector, the sources added.

Pawar claimed he was forced to speak loudly on the day of the incident as Congress workers were creating a ruckus and that he has not violated any model code of conduct.

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