Hindu leader Kalicharan, who abused Gandhi, held; arrest sparks MP-Chhattisgarh row
Khajuraho/Raipur/UNI/IBNS: Hindu leader Kalicharan Maharaj was arrested before dawn on Thursday in Khajuraho, triggering a war of words between Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, whose police swooped on the man who had abused Mahatma Gandhi.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra took strong objection over the manner in which Chhattisgarh Police took Kalicharan into custody.
"The Congress government in Chhattisgarh ought not to have violated inter-state protocol. I have directed the Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police to discuss the matter with his Chhattisgarh counterpart and register a protest.
"The arrest was executed without prior intimation. The Chhattisgarh dispensation could have summoned the accused by issuing a notice," he told the press in Bhopal.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel dismissed the criticism.
"Our police followed rules and procedures and duly informed the police in Khajuraho. Is Mishra sad or happy that Kalicharan has been apprehended?”" Baghel asked.
The Chhattisgarh Police said in a statement that a case was registered under sections 294 and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code against Kalicharan on the basis of his comments made at a "Dharam Sansad" in Raipur.
On inquiry, more sections including 153A(1)(a), 153B(1)(a), 295A, 505(1)(b) and 124A were added.
Kalicharan also now faces the charge of treason for saying he was proud of the man who shot dead Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.
The Chhattisgarh Police confirmed that the accused was staying at a hotel in Khajuraho, which was raided. He had reportedly reached the tourist hub from Raipur via Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
“The action was executed entirely by Chhattisgarh Police,” a Madhya Pradesh Police officer told UNI in Bhopal.
Three teams of Chhattisgarh Police had fanned out to Delhi, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in search of the self-styled godman who was on the run. Seven personnel reached Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a Maharashtra Police team went to Madhya Pradesh to take into custody Kalicharan, police sources in Mumbai said.
The police team from Pune was to move a court in Madhya Pradesh to seek his custody.
Several FIRs have been lodged against Kalicharan in Maharashtra including in Pune, Akola and Thane.