The district collector of Madhya Pradesh's Rajgarh and her deputy on Sunday, January 19, took on the pro-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Biaora town after they defied the prohibitory orders.
In a video that has gone viral on social media, collector Nidhi Nivedita can be seen slapping a man and additional collector Priya Verma taking on some men from the crowd. Verma told PTI on Sunday night that some men from the crowd misbehaved with her and Nivedita.
The rally was organised despite repeated requests to the BJP to call it off. "Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC are in place in the district. While we were doing our duty, a crowd came from the other side and misbehaved with us," Verma told PTI.
She has denied that the police resorted to cane charge to disperse the crowd and said that they only took on the men after a man pulled her hair from the back while another kicked her in the waist. "All that (she taking on some men) happened after it. Despite our requests to the protesters to sit down, they did not pay any heed," she said.
Verma added that they have lodged a complaint against the men. "One of them has been identified as Singh while another is yet to be identified, but we have his picture," she said.
However, the BJP hit out at the two bureaucrats and claimed 'Hitlerism' would not be tolerated in Madhya Pradesh. Reacting to the incident, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said it was the "black letter day" in democracy.
"Collector madam, which law book you have read empowers you to beat up and drag citizens protesting peacefully," Chouhan said in a tweet.
He further tweeted that the Congress-led government should hear it clear and loud that "Hitlerism with people of MP would not be tolerated at any cost".