Jhabua blast: Locals protest demanding arrest of prime accusedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/jhabua-blast-locals-protest-demanding-arrest-of-prime-accused/

Jhabua blast: Locals protest demanding arrest of prime accused

The bus-stand is barely 50 meters away from the spot where the explosion took place. The accused had stored huge piles of explosive used for mining purpose which exploded on September 12.

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FILE | People stand near the site of an explosion in Jhabua district at Madhya Pradesh, India, September 12, 2015. At least 60 people were killed in the town in central India on Saturday when a cooking gas cylinder blew up in a restaurant and set fire to explosives stored nearby, police said. (REUTERS)

Infuriated locals of Petlawad town protested on Saturday demanding immediate arrest ofRajendra Kasawa – the prime accused in connection with the recent explosion in the town that left 89 people dead.

The locals, mostly youth blocked traffic at the New Bus Stand of Petlawad town for over three hours.

The bus-stand is barely 50 meters away from the spot where the explosion took place. Kasawa had stored huge piles of explosive used for mining purpose which exploded on September 12.

People belonging to Sirvi group – a sub-caste of Patidar community — also broke a plaque-promoting non-violence reportedly put up by Jain community to which Kasawa belongs, at the new bus stand square some years ago. The protesters wrote the name of the deceased who have been killed in the explosion on it, an eye witness said.

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Kasawa, on whom a reward of Rs 1 lakh was announced, is on the run since the day of the explosion.

Police have also decided to conduct DNA profiling of three unidentified bodies to ascertain whether Kasawa is actually dead.

Some members of Sirvis community have died in the explosions and hence they are upset over the incident, sources close to the community said.

As per the eyewitness, they protested by saying that “Ahimsa” (non-violence) square will henceforth called as “Shraddhanjali” (condolence) square.

The protesters lifted the road blockade after district authorities assured them that they were trying their best to arrest Kasawa.

They have threatened to start a similar agitation if Kasawa is not apprehended within 24 hours.

“We diverted the traffic from other thoroughfares during the road blockade. We are trying our best to arrest Kasawa,” Jhabua additional superintendent of police (ASP) and head of Special Investigation Team (SIT), formed to deal with the explosion case, Seema Alawa told PTI.

On September 12, 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped through a crowded area in Petlawad town.