Khargone: Away from home, Muslim man’s shop burnt by mob; cops book him for rioting

Azam Khan's shop and house were burned by a Hindutva mob during the violence that broke out in the city during ram Navami celebrations.

In a string of distressing reports that have surfaced from the violence-hit Khargone, a driver who also runs a small ration shop has been booked by the police for allegedly participating in the violence, although he was away in Karnataka on the day the riots broke out.

Azam Khan was in Solapur, on his way to Khargone from Karnataka when he was informed that his shop had been set ablaze by a Hindutva mob and his brother had been beaten up by the police during the investigation.

Khargone city had witnessed communal clashes during Ram Navami celebrations on April 10 wherein stones were hurled, vehicles torched and some houses damaged, leading to the clamping of curfew in the entire city.

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“When I reached Khargone on April 14, I was informed that my name had been added to the list of rioters by the police. I have submitted medical reports and tollbooth receipts to police as proof,” a teary-eyed Azam Khan narrated his ordeal to The Cognate.

Khan whose shop lies in a Hindu community-dominated area alleged that he has been targetted by them several times in the past as well.

“The last time when a false complaint was filed against me, the police picked me up from my house under the pretext of questioning and imprisoned me. They filed four cases against me then. When I was taken to court, they said that it was based on the complaint and no investigation had been carried out,” narrated Khan.

“This isn’t the first time that they have vandalised my property. My house was set ablaze in 2015 as well,” recalled a teary-eyed Khan.

Khan’s house and shop that were set ablaze, are located in Sanjay Nagar, five kilometers away from Talab Chowk, the location where the violence first broke out on April 10.

“What kind of justice is this? You arrest people who have been subjected to violence and loss while the real rioters roam free,” he questioned.

In other similar cases, Wasim Shaikh, a Muslim man with amputated hands was falsely booked by the police under the list of ‘stone pelters’. Shaikh’s hands were amputated after he sustained injuries from an electric current in 2005. Three Muslim men who have been in jail since March 5 were also named on the list of Ram Navami riot-accused persons.

Following the countrywide celebration of Ram Navami on April 10, communal violence had broken out in various districts in India including Khargone, Roorkee, Karauli, Jahangirpuri, and Sendhwa.

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