MP: Muslims targetted following Ram Navami rally in Khargone

In wake of the violence in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone city in the wee hours of Sunday night, homes of Muslim individuals accused of rioting and stone-pelting were demolished in the city on Monday.

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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.

BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya and in-charge minister Kamal Patel tweeted and talked about strict action against the accused.

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During a Ram Navami procession on Sunday night, Muslim locals are alleged to have pelted stones on the passing rally, which led to 30 houses and shops being set ablaze and more than two dozen people 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.

According to reports, the stone-pelting started at 5 pm on Sunday after “provocative” songs were played by the rally. Police responded by launching a lathi charge and firing tear gas.

Sendhwa of Barwani also witnessed stone pelting during the procession on Jogwara Road in the city. A city policeman and five others were injured, and vehicles were lit on fire. Rioters also targeted some religious places. Police and administration quickly brought the situation under control.

Section 144 of CrPC (banning assembly of four or more people) has been imposed in the entire city. “We have passed the Damage to Public and Private Property Recovery Act. We are constituting a claim tribunal under the Act and after assessing the loss, its recovery will also be done by rioters, the MP CM said in a statement.

On Sunday, BJP leader Kapil Mishra was also in Khargone to attend the Shriram Janmotsav Shobha Yatra procession. He shared a tweet saying, “Na Musa na Burhan, Bas Jai Shree Ram. Hamari Ram Navami yatra Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, me shuru.” (No Musa, No Burhan (referring to Muslim names) Jai Shree Ram will alone prevail. The Ram Navami yatra will commence from Khargone, MP.)

“These attacks are well planned, stones, weapons, bombs are being prepared in advance,” he alleged in another tweet.

During the scuffles, 40 families in the Bhatwadi locality were safely evacuated to their relatives’ homes. Apart from this, about 30 families left their homes in Sanjay Nagar, Motipura, Goshala Marg and went to other places.

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