Khargone Violence Accused Arrested: Here’s What We Know So Far
MP police arrested key accused Sameerullah Khan from the Khaltaka-Balasamud area near Khargone-Dhar border.
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Three months after the communal violence that broke out during a Ram Navami procession in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone city, the state police on Sunday, 31 July, arrested 30-year-old Sameerullah Khan, son of Nasrullah Khan, on the charges of being the ‘mastermind’ behind the violence.
Khan, carrying a reward of Rs 10,000 on him, was arrested from the Khaltaka-Balasamud area near Khargone-Dhar district border based on specific inputs.
Khan's mother Tahira Bi won the councillor's elections from ward 16 in the recently held local body elections, sources said.
Khargone SP Dharamveer Singh Yadav said that Khan is a history sheeter and has previously been named in about nine cases, including a case where he is charged with attempt to murder, and has been absconding.
The accused has been involved in criminal cases, including those of communal nature since 2016, said Singh.
Earlier this week, the district administration had invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against Khan.
“He was processed under the NSA and a warrant was issued under it following which he was arrested and sent to jail," said the SP.
The police said that it will request for the remand of Khan to interrogate his role in the Ram Navami violence and previous cases he is named in.
Arrest Warrant Issued Under NSA
Talking to The Quint, Banwari Mandloi, in-charge of Khargone's sole police station, said that they have been pursuing Khan for a long time, who had been in hiding since the violence.
Banwari Mandloi said, "There are a total nine cases registered against him, and if you include the violence, the tally reaches 10 cases. We have been looking for him for a long time and he was caught following specific inputs after a warrant was issued under the NSA."
Police also arrested two others for aiding and abetting Khan while he was absconding. Mandloi said that all the accused were conspiring with Khan who also runs a shadow outfit named the ‘MIM’ and is believed to be behind the 10 April violence.
Responding to a question on how the police figured out that Khan was behind the violence, Mandloi said:
"The accused of Khargone violence were all in touch with him… he is the mastermind… he runs a MIM group, all the boys of that group are involved in such cases of riots."
On Sunday, 10 April, on the occasion of Ram Navami, a man was killed and 50 others were injured in the clash in Khargone, which erupted after a few people allegedly threw stones at a Ram Navami procession.
Over 55 "illegal structures" were demolished by the district administration while taking action against the alleged stone pelters and the accused.
Violence, stone pelting, and arson were reported from several states in India on that day.
(With inputs from Vishnukant Tiwari.)
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