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Kalicharan Maharaj nabbed near Khajuraho; remanded in Chhattisgarh Police custody
 
Raipur/Bhopal/Khajuraho, Controversial godman Kalicharan Maharaj was placed under arrest on Thursday and remanded in two days’ police custody for making a derogatory remark against Mahatma Gandhi, treason and other charges.

A seven-member team of Chhattisgarh Police apprehended the accused on the outskirts of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur district and brought him to Raipur by road. Amid heavy bandobast, Kalicharan was presented before Magistrate Chetan Thakur. A large number of people – owing allegiance to several pro-Hindu organisations affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party – sloganeered on the premises.


A case was registered under sections 294 and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code against the accused at Tikrapara Police Station in the wake of a speech during a Dharm Sansad at Ravanbhata on Sunday. Kalicharan expressed support for the Mahatma’s assassin Nathuram Vinayak Godse. On the basis of evidence gathered during inquiry; sections 153A(1)(a), 153B(1)(a), 295A, 505(1)(b) and 124A were appended.


Amidst a maelstrom of rhetoric, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said in Bhopal that Kalicharan’s statement against the Father of the Nation as well as the manner in which the godman was nabbed are both objectionable.


“What is wrong, is wrong. The Chhattisgarh Police personnel could have informed the police station concerned even at 0300 hrs prior to executing the arrest. The action was carried out in a way that injured the federal spirit. I have asked the Director General of Police to forthwith discuss the matter with his Chhattisgarh counterpart and register a protest. That state’s dispensation could have summoned the accused through issuance of a notice,” he told the press.


Earlier, Dr Mishra said that Chhattisgarh’s Congress government ought not to have violated interstate protocol. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel promptly returned fire by claiming that his officers went by the book.


“Our police followed rules and procedure and duly informed Khajuraho counterparts. Is Dr Mishra sad or happy over the fact that Kalicharan has been apprehended?” Mr Baghel quipped.

The law-enforcement personnel reached Chhatarpur district late Wednesday. Police obtained information that the accused was staying at a hotel 18 km from Khajuraho and the place was raided in the wee hours. Kalicharan had reached Khajuraho from Raipur via Indore.

Three teams of Chhattisgarh Police had fanned out to Delhi, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.


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