A 23-year-old man on Saturday alleged that police forced him to “falsely” testify against seven people for allegedly throwing stones on Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s vehicle on September 2 in Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district.
The windowpane of Mr Chouhan’s campaign vehicle was damaged when a group of people threw stones at it in Churhat town, about 540 km from Bhopal. Nine Congress workers were arrested the next day for allegedly being behind the incident.
Speaking to reporters at the residence of Leader of Opposition in the MP Assembly, Ajay Singh, “witness” Sandeep Chaturvedi claimed that a sub-inspector had made him sign a statement “under duress”.
“Neither did I witness the September 2 incident at Churhat nor do I know the men arrested in the case,” he said.
“Around 1:30 am, Sub-Inspector Dipak Baghela came to the petrol pump where I work and took me to the Kamarji police station. He asked me to give a statement that these men, whose names were already written on a piece of paper handed to me, had thrown stones at Mr Chouhan’s vehicle,” he claimed.
Mr Chaturvedi alleged that he was thrashed by police after he told them that he did not see the incident and did not know the people named on the piece of paper.
“Baghela and other policemen thrashed me and made me falsely testify that Sanjay Singh, Charan Singh, Gaurav Singh, Saurabh Singh, Roshan Singh, Saurabh Dwivedi and Shivendra Singh threw stones at the chief minister’s vehicle,” he alleged.
“Kamarji police station in charge was mounting pressure on me to falsely testify before the trial court under section 164 (of CrPC),” Mr Chaturvedi claimed, adding that he now feared for his life.
When contacted, Sidhi Superintendent of Police Tarun Nayak told PTI that he would not be able to speak on the issue as the probe into it was still underway.
Meanwhile, Ajay Singh claimed that the MP government had registered a case in this incident in order to defame him.
Mr Singh dared Mr Chouhan to fight Assembly polls from Churhat, from where the former is sitting MLA.