A day after two groups belonging to the same community clashed at the gram panchayat office in Dantral village of Sabarkantha and police opened fire in the air, the Congress MLA Ashvin Kotwal was detained on Sunday.
According to police, Kotwal was taken to Himmatnagar police station and put under preventive detention to stop him from visiting Dantral village under Poshina taluka of Sabarkantha where the clash took place.
They said 12 persons were injured in the clash over a no-confidence motion being passed against village sarpanch, Magan Dabhi.
According to an FIR filed at Poshina police station, complainant Savita Dabhi, deputy sarpanch of Dantral village, and 11 other members of Dantral panchayat were planning to submit a no-confidence application against sarpanch Magan Dabhi.
Savita said in the complaint that around 11.45 am on Saturday, as she tried to enter the gram panchayat office along with 11 other panchayat members to meet the development officer, they were attacked by Magan Dabhi, his wife, two kids and around 100-150 supporters. Police fired multiple rounds in the air, fired tear gas shells and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the crowd.
“As we stepped out of the car, we were attacked with iron pipes, wooden sticks and knives by the sarpanch and his supporters. Police were present at the spot and they fired tear gas shells and fired in the air to disperse the crowd to save our lives,” she said in her complaint.
Taking cognisance, police booked Magan Dabhi, his wife Manjula, his son Satish, daughter Nima and 48 others under Indian Penal Code sections 307 for attempt to murder, 323 for assault and sections of the armed rioting and unlawful assembly.
On Sunday, Sabarkantha police detained Congress MLA Ashvin Kotwal from his residence and brought him to Himmatnagar police station when he was on his way to meet the villagers.
Kotwal later released a video statement saying, “For some time, there have been clashes between the police and adivasi community in Poshina and on Saturday, police fired rounds and tear gas shells. I was intending to travel to Dantral when on Sunday morning, a team came to my residence and took me to the police station where they kept me all day and released me later.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, AB Mistry, sub-inspector and incharge officer of Poshina police station, said, “Till now we have detained 15 persons and the remaining will be held soon. MLA Kotwal was picked up and taken to Himmatnagar PS under preventive detention.”