Ram Shankar Katheria's bodyguards thrash employees at Agra toll post, BJP MP calls action 'self-defence'

Agra: Security men accompanying BJP MP and Scheduled Castes commission chairman Ram Shankar Katheria opened fire in the air and allegedly thrashed employees at a toll post in Agra on Saturday, police said.

The police have registered an FIR against Katheria and another person after the early morning fracas at the toll plaza on the inner ring road. An aide to the MP claimed that the security guards opened fire in self-defence when they were attacked at the toll plaza. Katheria is the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and elected to Parliament from Etawah in Uttar Pradesh.

"A case has been registered on the basis of the statement made by the toll plaza employees. The victims have been sent for medical test. The video provided to us was being investigated. Strict action will be taken against those found guilty," Bablu Kumar, Senior Superintendent of Police told ANI.

However, Katheria defended the actions of his entourage as "self-defence". "My security did not attack toll plaza employees, they first attacked my people. Toll employees did not know other cars were part of my convoy; they thought some other car is slipping through behind mine. My security guard only fired in self-defence," Katheria said.

Toll plaza in-charge Anupam Singh complained that the MP was travelling through there at 3.45 am in a cavalcade of five cars and a bus. The altercation began when the staff insisted on letting the vehicles pass through only one by one, according to the complaint.

"One of our colleagues appealed to Katheria's convoy to move their cars one by one through the toll plaza to avoid any damage to the vehicles. But the security personnel didn't listen and started thrashing the employee on duty. One of the employees came to me and asked for help. When I came to the spot, they also thrashed me with sticks and threatened to shoot with a gun," a toll duty employee was quoted as saying by ANI.

The MP's security guards then allegedly started roughing up the employees. The police said they are examining the footage from the CCTV cameras at the toll plaza. The incident is the latest in a series of alleged attacks on public servants, involving legislators.

The incident comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi advised party MPs to behave in a "responsible and cordial manner" after BJP legislator Akash Vijayvargiya was arrested for assaulting a civic official with a bat in Indore.

BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya's MLA son Akash was arrested in Indore for allegedly assaulting a municipal corporation official with a bat on 26 June. On Thursday, Congress MLA Nitesh Rane was arrested for plastering a civic official with mud after an argument in Maharashtra's Sindhugurg district.

Updated Date: Jul 07, 2019 07:47:30 IST