77 Arrested After Stone Pelting & Arson in MP's Khargone Amid Ram Navami
Members of a community reportedly objected to music being played during the Ram Navami procession.
Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
As many as 77 people have been arrested after Madhya Pradesh's Khargone saw stone pelting and arson during a Ram Navami procession in the district on Sunday, 10 April. BJP leader Kapil Mishra had also taken part in the celebrations during which violence broke out, and has called the attack "pre-planned."
Madhya Pradesh Minister Narottam Mishra said on Monday, 11 April, that 77 people had been arrested in the case so far, while six police personnel were injured.
"We've taken 60-70 people into custody. Some houses and vehicles were also burnt," DIG Khargone Tilak Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. A curfew has been imposed in parts of the district.
Meanwhile, the local administration is now retaliating by conducting the demolition of establishments where violence had erupted.
"We have started from the area near Mohan talkies, Khargone. Three establishments were demolished in the area and we are moving forward to other areas to carry out similar drives as per our policy of zero tolerance of violence," DIG Khargone Tilak Singh said.
What Happened During the Ram Navami Procession?
Sources told The Quint that when the Ram Navami procession was being taken out on Sunday, people allegedly of the Muslim community took objection to the music being played in the celebratory march, following which the matter escalated and stone pelting began.
Violence was reported from the Talab Chowk and Tavdi areas of Khargone, while incidents of arson and vandalism of vehicles were also reported from the district.
On receiving information about the unrest, the police force including DIG Tilak Singh, SP Siddharth Chaudhary, and Collector Anugrah P reached the spot. The police deployed tear gas shells to control the situation, and Section 144 (banning assembly of four or more people) of the CrPC was imposed in the disturbed regions of the district.
Khargone Collector Anugrah P told The Quint that the situation in Khargone was under control.
Calling the Khargone violence "unfortunate," Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, "Rioters won't be spared. Strict action will be taken. They will not only be sent to jails but also made to pay for vandalising public as well as private property. We are forming a 'Claims Tribunal,'" ANI reported.
'Stones, Bombs, Weapons Planned in Advance,' Claims Kapil Mishra
BJP leader Kapil Mishra had tweeted photos and videos of his participation in the Ram Navami procession in Khargone.
"Attack on Ram Navami Yatra started from Rajasthan to Gujarat, Jharkhand, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and JNU. The attacks are being justified by saying the songs and flags were provocative. These attacks are well-planned, stones, weapons, bombs are being prepared in advance. It would be a big mistake to take them lightly," Mishra said in a tweet on Monday.
"Where I was, there was no riot. And yes, if the investigation is done then only a jihadi and a Congressman hiding behind him will come out in every riot. Jihadis pelted stones and set fire to Khargone," he said in Hindi in another tweet.
Khargone SP Siddharth Choudhary was injured in the violence on Sunday after he was hit by a stone on the foot, as per the police. He was later admitted to a private hospital. Two other police personnel were also injured during the stone pelting.
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