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Congress attacks MP govt over alleged custodial death, murder of schoolgirl

Police say loot accused died after being shifted to jail; no stalking angle in murder

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath

Keeping up its attack on the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh on tribal issues, the Congress, on Tuesday, raked up the issue of an alleged custodial death of a man in Bistan of Khargone district and murder of a schoolgirl in Kirnapur on Balaghat district.

The Congress questioned the law and order situation, saying the oppression and harassment of tribal people continues in the state. MP Congress chief and former chief minister Kamal Nath has demanded a high-level probe into both the incidents and strict action against the accused.

The police of the respective districts have, however, denied custodial death in the Khargone incident and any angle of stalking in the murder of the school girl, saying the accused was known to the victim and probably they were in a relationship.

Home Minister Narottam Mishra called the incident (at Khargone) condemnable and worrying and assured that strict action will be taken against those found responsible for the death. He, however, said the Congress should refrain from doing politics on every matter.

Urban Administration Minister Bhupendra Singh too said the Congress always indulges in politics over death and should refrain from it. He said the state government takes early and strict action in all cases.

The tribal man, Bisan Singh (35), of Khairkundi village under Bistan police station of Khargone was an accused in an incident of loot that happened 10 days ago on the Chhitorgarh-Bhusawal Highway in Khargone. Bisan died after being shifted to judicial custody from police custody late on Monday night.

Agitated relatives of Bisan, alleging death due to excessive beating up in police custody, created ruckus and pelted stones at the Bistan police station on Tuesday, damaging a police vehicle. Three cops were reportedly injured in the incident. The mob was later dispersed by using tear gas, sources said.

Inspector general of police of Indore Range, Harinarayan Chari Mishra, has however denied custodial death. He said the accused had been duly shifted to jail after medical examination after his four-day police remand ended on Monday. He suddenly died in jail later. Since the death has occurred in judicial custody, the court has duly directed a judicial probe into the matter.

In the other incident in Balaghat, the 16-year-old tribal schoolgirl was hacked to death in Kodubarra village under Kirnapur police station of Balaghat district on Monday evening. She was returning from school in the neighbouring village with her friends when the accused accosted her and hacked her to death using an axe.

Superintendent of police of Balaghat, Abhishek Tiwari, while speaking to THE WEEK, said the accused, Kiran Mhaskole (21), has been arrested and it has come to light that he may have been in a relationship with the girl who had the name of Kiran tattooed on her arm. The accused recently got married. “However, there is nothing like stalking by the accused prima facie. Probe is on to find the exact cause of the crime,” the SP said.

However, the Congress has become aggressive on the incidents. Kamal Nath set up a five-member MLAs’ committee, headed by former minister Vijaylaxmi Sadho, to undertake fact finding on the Khargone incident. The committee includes Gyarsilal Rawat, Mukesh Patel, Pachilal Meda and Val Singh Meda.

On Tuesday, Sadho and other Congress leaders including former minister Sachin Yadav, MLAs Jhooma Solanki , Kedar Dabar, Ravi Joshi and others met the kin of deceased Bisan to console them. They also met the district collector Anugraha P. and deputy inspector general of police Tilak Singh and submitted memoranda demanding judicial probe, immediate and strict action against accused cops. The Congress has also demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore for the family.

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