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Sunday 23 February 2020

Amit, son of ex-CM Ajit Jogi, arrested for perjury

Sameera Paikra said Amit Jogi allegedly submitted wrong information about his birthplace in the affidavit while filing nomination

Bilaspur: Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi’s son Amit Jogi was arrested on Tuesday in the state’s Bilaspur district on charges of cheating and forgery in connection with a declaration in a poll affidavit submitted by him in 2013, police said.

Ajit Jogi, the founder of the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh, dubbed the action as political vendetta and claimed his son was being framed on false charges. Amit Jogi, who now heads the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh, was arrested from his home following a police complaint lodged against him by Sameera Paikra, the BJP candidate from Marwahi constituency in the 2013 state Assembly polls, Superintendent of Police Prashant Agrawal said.

Sameera Paikra in her complaint said Amit Jogi allegedly submitted wrong information about his birthplace in the affidavit while filing his nomination papers for the 2013 state polls, he said. According to Paikra, he mentioned his place of birth as Sarbahara village in Gaurela area of Bilaspur whereas, she claimed, he was born in the US, the official said.

Amit Jogi subsequently won the Assembly poll from Bilaspur’s Marwahi seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates. After the investigation for about six months, he was arrested on Tuesday, Superintendent of Police Prashant Agrawal said. “Amit Jogi was arrested from Marwahi Sadan in Bilaspur, based on the FIR lodged against him in February this year at Gaurela police station in the district,” he said. He was booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), he said.

After losing the 2013 polls, Paikra had filed an election petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court, challenging Amit Jogi’s caste and place of birth. The high court dismissed the petition in January this year on the ground that the term of the Chhattisgarh Assembly 2013-2018 had already ended.

On Monday, Paikra along with some residents of Marwahi constituency staged a protest in front of the superintendent of police’s office in Bilaspur, demanding action on the FIR lodged by her against Amit Jogi. Meanwhile, Ajit Jogi termed the action against his son as political vendetta. “There is no rule of law in the state, rather jungle raj is prevailing under the regime of Bhupesh Baghel. My son is being implicated in a false case which is happening due to political vendetta,” Ajit Jogi said in a statement. The Chhattisgarh High Court had already given a ruling in favour of Amit Jogi in this connection. Now, the action against him amounts to contempt of court, he said.

“The action has also proved that Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel considers himself superior to the judiciary,” he claimed. Last week, an FIR was also registered against 73- year-old Ajit Jogi, who served as the first chief minister of Chhattisgarh, after a government-appointed committee rejected the latter’s claim of being a tribal.

A high-level caste scrutiny committee set up by the state government last month dismissed Ajit Jogi’s claim of belonging to a Scheduled Tribe (ST) and cancelled his caste certificates. Subsequently, Ajit Jogi, the founder of the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), was booked for allegedly fraudulently obtaining caste certificates, the police said. The claim of the senior politician, a sitting MLA from Marwahi and a former Congressman, of being a tribal was rejected multiple times in the past too.

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