A quarrel involving two boys from different communities in a town in Madhya Pradesh sparked communal clashes on Tuesday (February 9) leading to several injuries and arrests. A riotous mob thrashed a 60-year-old cook named Firdaus Haji who sustained serious injuries.
Police in Akodia town in Shajapur district have filed a case under section 307 of Indian Penal Code and detained 5 to 6 people from both the communities.
“We do not have complete names and identities of all those involved. We will pick them once we know as we are investigating the matter,” In charge, police station Akodia, told Clarion India over the phone.
According to locals, a Muslim boy hit a Hindu boy with a bat during the quarrel. This is said to have provoked the majority community. That evening 200 men from the community descended on a Muslim locality and clashed with the residents for several hours before police came in and brought the situation under control.
“When word of clashes went out, more Hindus from neighbouring villages poured in leading to an assembly of around a thousand Hindus at around 9 pm in the Muslim locality,” Maulana Ahmad, a local resident, told Clarion India. “I got to know about it, I made a call to the Shajapur SP (Superintendent of Police) who ordered the force to rush to the spot,” he added. Maulana Ahmad appreciated the role of police in controlling the situation.
Firdaus Haji, the cook who is a resident of Dabri Mohalla, was grievously injured when a mob waylaid him while he was returning from a marriage party. “The mob caught hold of him and thrashed him so badly that both his legs and arms were left bruised and fractured,” a local shopkeeper said. “They also hit his head with a sharp object.”
He was referred to a hospital in Indore where he is currently admitted for treatment.
A photo of injured Firdous shared with Clarion India shows his body covered in bandages while he lies on a stretcher. “I heard his condition is serious,” the shopkeeper said.
The mob also set fire to a scrap store that belonged to certain Younis Kabadi in the Nagar Palika area near the bus stand. Videos shared over WhatsApp show a Hindutva activist, who the locals said belonged to Bajrang Dal outfit, is heard warning a police official to not file any report against the mob. The crowd is heard shouting communally charged slogans.
According to a report in Hindi daily Bhaskar, a Hindu youth Rohit Jat was also injured. “Rohit Jat suffered head and leg injuries during the dispute,” Bhaskar reported on Thursday.
The daily has also published names of five accused arrested by the police: Azhar, Sameer, Sabir, Boiler and Sonu. They are accused of attacking Rohit.