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Man booked for setting houses on fire, assaulting women in Madhya Pradesh

Superintendent of Police for Khandwa district, Vivek Singh, told The Indian Express that the accused has been booked and a manhunt has been launched to trace him.

Written by Iram Siddique | Bhopal |
Updated: January 22, 2022 5:42:43 pm
An auto rickshaw inside one of the houses was destroyed.

The police has booked a man for allegedly setting three houses — two belonging to Muslim men — on fire, and hitting women in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district.

The incident comes after a brawl on January 5, when accused Bunty Upadhyaya, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, attacked Shaukat Ali, the owner of one of the houses, with a beer bottle. Shaukat’s wife Akeela Bi alleged that Bunty had asked them to vacate the house as “they did not want any Muslims residing in the area”.

Following a complaint by Shaukat Ali, Bunty was arrested by the police and sent to jail. Shaukat and his family were allegedly asked to stay away from the village owing to which they shifted to Indore.

Fifteen days later, when Bunty got out on bail, he allegedly set three houses on fire, including Shaukat’s. He also allegedly beat Shaukat’s sister Kamroon Bi with a rubber pipe.

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Akeela Bi, after returning to Khandwa from Indore, registered a complaint at the Khandwa Kotwali police station. Three FIRs have been registered against Bunty under section 436 for setting three houses on fire and sections 294, 323 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code for beating up Shaukat’s sister while she was sitting outside the house.

Superintendent of Police for Khandwa district, Vivek Singh, told The Indian Express, “We have not only taken cognisance of the matter, but are also treating it with utmost seriousness. We are trying to find out whether Bunty had been constantly targeting this family. We have also formed a team to arrest him as he is currently absconding”

Explaining the situation, Shaukat’s wife said: “After coming out of jail on January 20, Bunty first attacked Kamroon Bi with a rubber pipe and then set the houses on fire. He had also beaten up two other women.” She further alleged that Bunty used to constantly ask them to move out of the area, saying “there was no place for Muslims there”.

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