Dhirendra Shastri, the head priest of Bageshwar Dham in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur district, enjoys massive political clout.
The complaint against Garg was filed at the Bameetha police station. The complainant, Kallu Ahirwar, alleged that Garg came to his home in Garha village around midnight on February 11 while his daughter’s marriage was underway. Garg allegedly abused Ahirwar while waving a pistol.
A purported viral video of the incident showed a man—allegedly Garg—waving a firearm and threatening people at a marriage ceremony. Those at the receiving end were identified as Dalits.
“I will never support what is wrong but everything that happens should not be linked to me. This country has a Constitution and if someone commits a wrong, they will pay for it. I am always with the truth,” said Shastri in a video message about the incident allegedly involving his brother.
Shastri has been in the news of late. In January, he was challenged by a rationalist organisation in Nagpur to perform ‘miracles’ claimed by him. Shastri wrapped up his engagements and left Nagpur two days before schedule, saying he needed to return to his native place for an event.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had visited Bageshwar Dham and met Shastri just two days before the FIR was registered against Garg. On February 13, state Congress president and former chief minister Kamal Nath had met Shastri.
Chouhan’s visit was to participate in a mass marriage event, in which 125 couples tied the knot in his presence. BJP state president V.D. Sharma, who is the local MP, and forest minister Vijay Shah were also present. Home minister Narottam Mishra is also considered to be close to Shastri.
With Shastri enjoying massive clout, political circles are agog with theories on the FIR against his brother. Top sources said Chhatarpur superintendant of police Sachin Sharma had sent police personnel to Garha village to investigate the incident allegedly involving Garg. Based on the investigation and the complainant’s statement, a case was registered.
“A video from February 11 was circulating on social media, after which a team was sent to investigate. Prima facie the altercation was due to playing music during a marriage ceremony and objection by a group on grounds that Garha is a religious site,” Sachin Sharma told the media. He added that the police were recording the statements of eyewitnesses.