Chhattisgarh CM's father arrested over alleged derogatory remarks

Nand Kumar Baghel and his son and chief minister Bhupesh Baghel

Raipur: The Raipur Police have arrested Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel's father Nand Kumar Baghel from Delhi in a case registered against him for allegedly making derogatory remarks against a community, an official said here on Tuesday.

The CM had strongly disapproved of the remarks allegedly made by his 86-year-old father and said nobody is above law. "Nand Kumar Baghel was arrested and brought from Delhi to Raipur on Tuesday,"

Raipur Additional Superintendent of Police Tarkeshwar Patel said. He was produced in a local court, he said, without divulging more details. The case against Nand Kumar Baghel was lodged on Saturday night at the DD Nagar police station in Raipur on a complaint filed by the 'Sarv Brahmin Samaj' against him.

He was charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) and 505(1)(b) (with intent to cause, or likely to cause, fear or alarm to public, or to any section of public whereby any person may be induced to commit offence against the state or against public tranquility), police had said.

The outfit, in its complaint, alleged that the CM's father recently made a controversial appeal to people to boycott Brahmins by terming them as "foreigners", and asked people to not let them enter in their villages. The organization also accused Nand Kumar Baghel of asking people to "evict" Brahmins from the country.

The organisation had said a video of the purported comments of the CM's father was available on social media platforms. According to the police, Nand Kumar Baghel reportedly made the remarks while addressing an event in Uttar Pradesh recently.

After a controversy erupted over the alleged remarks of his father, the chief minister had said he was pained and asserted nobody was above law in his government and police will take appropriate action in the matter. The remarks made by my father Nand Kumar Baghel against a specific class have come to my attention.

The comments have hurt the sentiments of the class as well as (affected) social harmony and I am also pained by it, Bhupesh Baghel had said in a statement. Nobody is above law under my government even if he is the chief minister's 86-year-old father, the Congress CM had said, adding an appropriate legal action will follow. He said the Chhattisgarh government respects every religion, caste and community and their sentiments, and gives equal importance to everyone, the statement added.

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