Madhya Pradesh Assembly witnessed uproarious scenes on Thursday as opposition Congress took up the matter of the killing of tribal youth in police firing in Mhow of Indore late on Wednesday night.
The youth was part of a crowd protesting the alleged gang rape and murder of a 22-year-old woman from the community.
The youth killed in police firing has been identified as Bherulal, a resident of Mhow. His age is said to be 22-23 years. Another youth, Sanjay, was injured by a gunshot in his leg.
The woman hails from Mandaleshwar police station area in Khargone district and family members alleged that she had been abducted by one Yadunandan Patidar of Mhow and was gang-raped before being killed.
About a dozen police personnel including the Bargonda police station in-charge Bharat Singh Thakur were injured in the incident – allegedly owing to heavy stone-pelting by the crowd protesting the woman’s death in front of the Dongargaon police post (under Bargonda PS).
Home minister Narottam Mishra said in the Assembly that two versions about the incident (related to the death of the woman) were coming in and prima facie she died of electric shock while using a rod to heat water. “The woman was staying with accused Patidar, when the incident occurred,” Mishra said, adding that Patidar had been arrested and a case of murder has been registered against him. He also said that the police had fired in self-defence after a crowd attacked the police post and the youth got killed during this. Mishra said compensation had been paid to the family of the youth.
After acrid exchange between the treasury and opposition benches, the Congress members staged a walkout from the Assembly. Opposition's Govind Singh questioned the firing on the chest of the deceased youth, when the norm was to fire on legs, while deterring a crowd. Ex-minister Vijaylaxmi Sadho, legislator of the constituency from where the deceased woman’s family hailed, said the home minister was maligning the young woman’s image by insinuating that she was in a live-in with the accused.
‘Jungle Raj in MP’
Outside the house, ex-Chief Minister Kamal Nath cited National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures to say that Madhya Pradesh has topped the charts of crime against scheduled tribes in the country 13 times in the past 18 years, while it was placed in second place on other five occasions. “BJP calls itself a well-wisher of tribal people, but this is the truth,” he said.
Earlier, tweeting on the incident, Nath said, “murder after gang-rape of a tribal girl in Mhow of Indore district and murder of a tribal youth in police firing has proved the Jungle Raj prevalent in Madhya Pradesh. I am pained, distressed by this heartbreaking incident and stand with the aggrieved tribal families in this hour of grief. I have also constituted an inquiry team consisting of senior tribal MLAs to investigate the incident, who have already left for the spot. This incident of gang rape and police firing in Madhya Pradesh, which has topped the country in terms of atrocities on tribals, has horrified the tribals. Now there is no hope left from this BJP government.”
The team constituted by Nath includes ex-Union Minister Kantilal Bhuria, ex-Home Minister Bala Bachchan, MLAs Jhuma Solanki and Pachilal Meda and state Youth Congress chief Vikrant Bhuria.
Later, the ex-CM spoke to Madan Adiwasi, father of deceased Bherulal, over phone and assured him of all help possible. He told the bereaved father that the issue had been taken up in the State Assembly and he had sent a team of Congress MLAs to meet him. Nath also said that a Congress government will be formed in the state after six months and the family will get protection.
MAGISTERIAL PROBE, COMPENSATION
Meanwhile, Indore district collector Ilayaraja T. instituted a magisterial probe into the incident at the order of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Ajay Devsharma was appointed the inquiry officer.
The chief minister also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the firing victim’s family and a government job for the elder son in the family. Also, the CM has instructed that all arrangements for the education of other three children in the family should be made at a tribal hostel and Rs 20,000 be paid in cash for the last rites of the deceased, tweets on the official handle of the CM said.