By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Around 150 unidentified activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal have been booked for allegedly indulging in celebratory firing during a Shastra Pujan program in Gwalior city of Madhya Pradesh.

The Jhansi Road police in Gwalior district lodged a case against the unidentified VHP and Bajrang Dal members under Section 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others) and Section 34 (crime with a common intent) of IPC on Wednesday evening. “We’re now analyzing the video tapes of the entire incident to identify and name the accused in the FIR,” additional SP (ASP-Gwalior) Satendra Singh Tomar said on Thursday.

The incident happened during the Shastra Pujan program of the VHP and Bajrang Dal near in Nadi Gate area during the festival of Dussehra on Tuesday.

Several VHP and Bajrang Dal workers not only publicly displayed licensed firearms but indulged in at least seven to ten rounds of celebratory firing to mark the occasion.

Importantly, all this happened in the presence of police personnel, who had been deployed in duty there to ensure no disturbance of public peace by the program on Tuesday. But the case was lodged a day later after the video of the celebratory firing by the members of the two saffron outfits went viral over social media on Wednesday.

“The case was registered after the video of the incident went viral,” added ASP-Gwalior.

Meanwhile, around 650 km away in the communally sensitive Khandwa district, the police are on the lookout for a Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM) – BJP’s youth wing – leader Badal Sharma who was among the four youths who allegedly stabbed three youths during a Durga Puja procession on Wednesday.

One of the three stabbed youths, identified as Manish Kanade died later during treatment at the Khandwa District Hospital.

Acting in the matter, the police arrested three of the four accused, including Tarun alias Ajju, Pawan and Rahul, but the BJYM city vice president of Khandwa district Badal Sharma remains on the run.

“We’re conducting raids to track and nab Badal Sharma in Khandwa district and have also sent police teams to adjoining districts in MP and Maharashtra in his search,” Khandwa district police superintendent Shivdayal Singh told The New Indian Express on Thursday.

The stabbing had taken place among members of the same Durga idol immersion procession in the busy Ghantaghar area of Khandwa town on Wednesday evening.

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