The police in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district registered a case against former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi after a government-appointed panel concluded that he is not from the Adivasi community, the Hindustan Times reported on Friday.
The case was registered under Section 10-1 of Chhattisgarh Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes (Regulation of Certification of Social Status) Rules, 2013, on Thursday night. “We have registered a case and started investigating it,” Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Prashant Agarwal said.
At present, Jogi represents Marwahi in the state Assembly. The seat is reserved for Adivasi communities, and Jogi is likely to lose it.
“We have filed a writ petition against the order of high powered committee and we will mention the FIR [first information report] also in the writ petition,” Ajit Jogi’s son Amit Jogi said. “Secondly, the government is totally biased and doing vendetta politics against my father. We will fight the battle as per law and challenge everything in the court.”
The committee headed by Secretary of Department of Primitive Caste DD Singh was set up on the High Court’s directions in 2018. It concluded investigations on August 21, and directed the collector of Bilaspur district to take action against Jogi.
Jogi’s Adivasi status was challenged in the High Court in 2001 by Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former National Commission for Scheduled Tribes Chairperson Nand Kumar Sai, and a complainant identified as Sant Kumar Netam. The court ruled that the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes do not have the power to conduct inquiries into such matters. Netam approached the Supreme Court on October 13, 2011. The top court decided that a high-powered committee would investigate the case.
The committee revoked Jogi’s caste certificates in June 2017. The former chief minister then challenged this decision in High Court, and on February 21, 2018, the court directed the government to reconstitute the panel.