After the district administration in Madhya Pradesh demolished houses and shops in Khargone and Barwani citing the involvement of the house owners in communal clashes, the relatives of three accused said on Friday, 15 April, that the accused had not participated in the clash and were in fact lodged in prison when the clashes occurred.
The district administration destroyed parts of the houses of one of the accused, Shahbaz, who is under incarceration. Two others – Faruk, and Rauf – have also been named in the communal clashes case.
However, the three have been in prison since 11 March, their relatives said, adding that it was not possible for anybody to leave the prison, participate in the riots, and then go back.
Sakeena, the mother of Shahbaz, told The Quint, "We told the police that my son was in prison, but nobody was willing to listen to us. We folded our hands and requested them not to demolish our house, saying that we were not involved in the clashes, but to no avail."
Shahbaz's wife Hina Khan said they were given no notice but 15 minutes to vacate the home.
"They came and told us to get out of the house. They gave us 15 minutes to vacate the house. What could two ladies do in 15 minutes?"Hina Khan
'No One Else Named Fakru Lives Here'
Fakru's mother Raeesa told The Quint that her son was not involved in the riot and had been in prison for the last one month. "His name has forcefully been dragged into the matter," she said, adding that it was impossible for the police to have mistaken her son for someone else as there was nobody else named Fakru in the locality.
Shahbaz's wife Hina Khan also confirmed that her husband was in jail when the clashes erupted. She said that the only people at home on the day of the demolition were herself, her son and her mother-in-law, adding that the administration only gave them 15 minutes to leave before they demolished their house.
"No notice was given to us by the administration prior to the demolition. Since our house is gone, we are living here and there. We don't have a fixed address," she added.
Meanwhile, the police seem to be in a dilemma with regard to the situation. They said that discussions are currently ongoing to find out whether the three people named in the First Information Report (FIR) are actually the same three who are lodged in jail.
"It is being discussed right now whether these three are the same criminals or they are three other people. It could be other people as well. The discussion is ongoing," said Sendhwa police station in-charge Baldev Singh Mujalda.
What Had Happened?
After communal clashes erupted in Khargone on the occasion of Ram Navami, the district administration demolished around 50 houses of the alleged rioters in Khargone and four in Barwani citing the involvement of the house owners in the clash.
An FIR had been lodged against the three persons on 10 April on the charge of allegedly setting bikes on fire during the communal clashes.
A note was also shown to the Barwani police as proof that the three persons were lodged in prison on charges of alleged attempt to murder and other offences.