Chhattisgarh cops battle protestors over bank fraud

Raipur, July 25 (IANS) In a bid to exert pressure on Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and his four cabinet colleagues in election year, hundreds of Congress protestors fought running street battles with policemen Thursday in the heart of Raipur city.

Police fired water cannons and used batons to stall Congress protestors who were heading to Chief Minister Raman Singh's official residence in a march.

The Congress protest was a part of a follow-up action on a CD which the party released recently, claiming that Raman Singh and his four cabinet colleagues took cash to bail out scamsters of the Indira Priyadarshini Mahila Nagrik Sahakari Bank.

The scam broke out in early 2007. Roughly 25,000 poor account holders were duped by top bank officials. The Congress is seeking a CBI inquiry and resignation of the alleged pay-off beneficiaries while the BJP is terming it "a purely political stunt in election year".

The Congress cadres and policemen came to blows at Shastri Chowk when protestors defied police warnings and tried to jump over barricades to move towards the chief minister's house.

To bring the situation under control, policemen pressed water cannons into service, and rained batons on protestors.

The Congress claimed that about two dozen of its workers suffered injuries. At least 11,870 people were arrested, the Congress claimed.


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