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One Dead, Cops Injured as Protest Over Tribal Woman's Death Turns Violent in MP

The protesters claimed the tribal woman was killed by a man from the Patidar community.

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At least one civilian died after police personnel opened aerial fire and shot tear gas shells to disperse tribals protesting in Madhya Pradesh's Indore on Wednesday, 15 March.

Hundreds of people from the tribal community were staging a protest in front of the Dongargaon police station outpost in Indore with the body of a 23-year-old tribal woman (name withheld to protect identity), alleging that she was murdered by a man from the Patidar community.

The protesters also claimed that the police refused to register a First Information Report (FIR) in the matter.

What Happened?

The woman was found dead under suspicious circumstances on Wednesday, the police said, adding that she may have been killed by electrocution. 

As the protest against her death escalated, the police claimed that the tribals began pelting stones, prompting them to fire tear gas shells and open aerial fire.

A civilian, now identified as 18-year-old Bherulal, died in the incident, while several policemen sustained injuries.

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Family Alleges Tribal Woman Was Killed

Speaking to the media, Bhagwat Singh Virde, Superintendent of Police (Indore Rural), said that the woman used to live with a man from the Patidar community, who "claimed" her as his wife.

The woman's family, however, alleged that the man was lying, and also accused him of killing her, he added.

The SP said a case under sections of murder was registered based on the family's claims.

"But as soon as the body was handed over to the family, the tribal community members protested, demanding that the accused be handed over to them… The protest turned violent and stones were pelted, and the police also responded with tear gas shells to disperse the mob. Around 10 policemen suffered injuries due to the stone pelting."
Bhagwat Singh Virde, SP (Indore Rural)

The woman's family also alleged that the man had forcefully brought her from her village and killed her by electrocution. 

Her cousin alleged that the "man killed his sister," and that even though he "claimed" her as his wife, there was no "proof" of the same. 

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CM Orders Magisterial Probe, Congress Says 'Jungle Raj Prevalent' in State

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Thursday, 16 March, ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The Opposition Congress, meanwhile, has constituted a three-member team to investigate the matter, alleging that a 'jungle raj' is prevalent in the state.

State Congress president Kamal Nath constituted the investigation team, which has Kantilal Bhuria, Bala Bachchan, Prachilal Meda, and Jhuma Solanki as members. The team has already left for the spot on Wednesday morning.

Kamal Nath tweeted, "Murder after gang rape of a tribal girl in Mhow of Indore district and murder of a tribal youth in police firing has proved the Jungle Raj prevalent in Madhya Pradesh. I am pained, distressed by this heartbreaking incident, and stand with the aggrieved tribal families in this hour of grief."

(With inputs from Indore's Ankit Parmar)

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Topics:  Protest   Madhya Pradesh   Tribal Man 

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