Updated: April 19, 2022 5:14:08 am
The body of 28-year-old Ibraish Khan, a resident of Islampura who had gone missing soon after communal clashes broke out in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone on April 10 during a Ram Navami procession, was identified by his family at Indore’s M Y Hospital in the early hours of Monday, the police said.
The district administration has identified him as a victim of communal clash, making Ibraish the first reported casualty in the Khargone clashes, officials said, adding that the administration is preparing to grant ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to his family.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that Ibraish’s mother, Mumtaz had been searching for him in the days following the clashes.
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According to the Khargone police, on April 11 they found an injured person in Kapas Mandi, 300 metres away from Ibraish’s house. He was rushed to the district government hospital, but was declared dead on arrival and remained unidentified, they said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, superintendent of police Rohit Keswani said, “We were told by the supervisor of Kapas Mandi that his guard Kamal Salve had heard a group of men brutally beating up another man in Kapas Mandi. The guard told us that the men kept saying, ‘maaro isko maaro’, but soon after they heard police sirens, they all ran away.”
“Our teams checked the CCTV footage after learning of the incident, but did not find anything. And since his identity was not established, the body was sent to Indore’s MY Hospital,” the SP said, adding that the body was taken to Indore, 126 km away, as they did not have adequate facilities to keep it in Khargone.
He further said that after the post-mortem report revealed that the man was attacked on the left side of his head with a blunt object – confirming homicide – an FIR was registered under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code at 11.23 pm on April 14 at Khargone’s Kotwali police station.
At 11.23 am on the same day, Ibraish Khan’s family had approached Kotwali police station, as the curfew was relaxed, and registered a missing complaint. In the complaint, his eldest brother Ikhlak stated that Ibraish had gone to pray at the mosque in Anand Nagar at 7.30 pm on the day of the clashes and had not returned home since. Ikhlak also said, in the complaint to the police, that the family could only register a missing complaint on April 14 owing to restrictions imposed during curfew.
Even as the police recorded the family’s missing complaint on the same day that they lodged a murder case of an unidentified man, Ibraish’s 65-year-old mother Mumtaz, her two sons and a sister kept searching the streets, rivers and nullahs for days, even looking in the morgue of the district hospital in Khargone. Mumtaz while searching the morgues, pleaded to anyone who would care to listen, “Even if he is dead… please give us his dead body so that we can bury him properly.”
According to the SP, after the family’s plight gained media attention, the family was brought to MY Hospital for identification of a dead body on the intervening night of April 17 and 18.
Ikhlak said that after he had earlier received information that a man had been taken to Indore, he went there and searched the entire MY Hospital, including the morgue, on April 16 along with some friends, but in vain. “When we had started searching for him, we were told by his friends – who were with Ibraish – that he was hit by policemen who then took him elsewhere. We kept pleading before policemen but no one told us anything. They registered our missing complaint not with the details we gave them, but wrote what they felt like,” Ikhlak alleged.
He further said that it was only after they threatened to go to the media that the police swung into action and took them to Indore to identify the body. Ikhlak and his family told The Indian Express that Ibraish sustained head injuries in a road accident about three years ago after which doctors had told him to stay cautious against further head injuries. “Some of his friends told us that he was attacked and that the policemen took him, but no policemen told us anything,” Ikhlak said, sobbing.
Ibraish is survived by his wife and an eight-month-old child. “His son had just learnt to call him abbu and his wife kept hoping against all odds that her husband would come back hale and hearty,” Ikhlak added.
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