A Muslim family of seven living at Kampel grampanchayat near Indore in Madhya Pradesh were allegedly beaten up and threatened by a mob of more than 100 people on Saturday night around 8.30 pm. The mob asked them to vacate the house and leave the village, alleged the family members.
The family alleged these men chanted Jai Shree Ram and were beating them up because they had not vacated the house and left the village by Saturday, paying heed to an earlier warning by the group, a month ago.
The police, however, stated that the two groups had got into a dispute over money and cross-complaint from both sides were registered.
The Geyasuddin family, who had moved to Kampel two years ago, are blacksmiths by profession and made trolleys and other agricultural equipment for a living.
Shahrukh Geyasuddin, whose 46-year old father Farukh Geyasuddin was allegedly beaten up by the mob, told The Indian Express, “they barged in and began beating us up using the rods that were lying nearby. They began hitting my father repeatedly and when my uncle intervened they beat him also saying ‘we had asked you to vacate or else face dire consequences’.”
Shahrukh’s sister Fauziya, who was visiting her parent’s house for a few days, was also present in the house when the incident took place. She said: “These men came in a row of cars and when I tried to record the incident in a video, some of them dragged me out holding my hand, snatched my cellphone and broke it into pieces.”
The entire incident lasted for around 25 minutes before the men left the house. The family then rushed to Khudel police station from where they were sent to Indore’s Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital for a medical test and subsequently an FIR was registered based on their complaint.
According to Shahrukh, after the men had earlier threatened the family asking them to vacate the village and leave, they had approached the village panchayat and informed the sarpanch about it.
“When the same men had come last month and asked us to leave, they knew that we were about to purchase a plot near our house. They did not like it and told us ‘we will get more of our kind to come and settle here’. As we lived on rent, we had to purchase a plot of land near our house but after their threats, we cancelled the land deal and did not purchase the plot. But the sarpanch assured us that they were just young blood and there was nothing to worry about and so we did not vacate the house,” said Shahrukh, who added that the men who had threatened them lived on the outskirts of the village.
Based on the Geyasuddin family’s complaint, Khudel police have registered an FIR against nine people under sections 323 (for voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), 294 (Obscene acts and Songs), 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50), 147 (Punishment for rioting) and 148 (Rioting armed with deadly weapons) of the IPC.
Sub-inspector Vishwajeet Tomar told The Indian Express: “The Geyasuddin family was given some money by the other group to build a trolley but neither did they make the trolley nor did they return the money which prima facie appears to have triggered the incident and the two groups have clashed. There has been a cross-complaint registered based on the complaint of Vikas Patel who lives near the village.”
However, when asked about the family’s allegation that the men belonged to RSS and had threatened them to leave the village a month back, Tomar denied having received any such information. “This information was not given to us when the FIR was being registered. We are not aware of it. We are investigating the case as there are cross FIRs from both sides and both parties have sustained injuries,” he said.
Tomar also said that contrary to the claims made by the Geyasuddin family about the mob of more than 100 people, there were only around nine men involved in beating them up and the rest were part of the crowd that had gathered around the house.
Ehtesham Hashmi, an advocate practising at the Supreme Court who had received a call from the family on Saturday night and rushed to Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital after they were taken there for the medical check-up, called the cross-complaint registered by the police as complete fraud.
“I rushed to the hospital after getting a call from the family after which we sat for around three hours at Kampel hospital station where the police refused to register an FIR based on the written application that the family was giving them. Instead, around three to four sub-inspectors sat with Shahrukh and then registered a fake FIR to pressurise the poor family,” said Hashmi.