Police cane-charge tribals in Raipur

Raipur: Police cane-charged tribals who were on their way to 'gherao' Chhattisgarh Assembly in support of their various demands on Monday.

The tribals, who were demanding 32 per cent reservation among other things, attacked policemen at Siddarth Chowk here, some distance away from the Assembly building. This led the police to use force against the adivasis, Raipur Additional SP Lal Umed Singh said.

Around 4,000 tribals had gathered at Siddarth Chowk from where they were to be arrested. However, they suddenly turned violent and started throwing stones at the police, injuring some men in uniform, Singh said.

Police lobbed teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the agitating tribals, he said.

Nearly 1,000 adivasis were arrested. Former Union Minister Arvind Netam, tribal leaders Gulab Singh and Manoj Mandavi, who were part of the protest, were rounded up and sent to jail, the police officer said.

Opposition Congress strongly condemned the police action and demanded resignation of the Raman Singh-led BJP Government in the state.