Even after Section 144 CrPC (banning assembly of four or more people) was imposed in the riot-hit city of Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, police officials mercilessly broke open the gates of Bilal Masjid on the wee hours of April 11 and barged into the house of a 70-year-old woman whose home is situated right in front of the mosque.
In a video shared on social media, policemen can be seen storming into the mosque and creating an atmosphere of fear. The old woman is heard requesting the men to stop. She even calls them “beta” (son).
Shaken by the events, the injured old woman said, “The policemen broke the fridge, looted cash, and hit me.” According to her, the policemen severely thrashed the women present in the house and took all the valuables. There were no male members present at that time.
The women are hospitalized. One is said to be critical.
What happened in Khargone
Provocative songs were played during a Ram Navami procession in Khargone, which reportedly led to incidents of stone-pelting around 5 pm on Sunday. As per reports, 30 houses and shops were set ablaze and more than two dozen people were injured.
Reports say that Khargone’s Superintendent of Police Siddharth Choudhary was shot in the leg. The matter calmed down a bit at around 9 pm, but violence flared up again at 12 am.
Police responded by launching a lathi charge and firing tear gas. Section 144 of CrPC was imposed on the entire city.
Muslims being targeted
Soon after the incident, homes of Muslims accused of rioting and stone-pelting were demolished in the city on April 11.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- led government moved to demolish Muslim-owned houses in the Mohan Talkies area on the order of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. “We have identified the rioters, and strict action will be taken against them,” he said. Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra said 77 people have been arrested so far.