MP Police Raze Houses of 3 Muslim Men Accused of 'Pelting Stones at Garba Venue' During Dispute

The SP claimed that "illegal construction" of more than 4,500 sq ft and worth more than Rs 4.5 crore was bulldozed within two days of the incident.

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New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh police has razed the houses of three Muslim men booked in a dispute between two groups at a Garba venue in Mandsaur district.

Nineteen people have been booked in a fight which occurred on the night of October 2 at Surjani village within the jurisdiction of the Sitamau police station.

A report by Dainik Bhaskar notes that a man named Shivlal Patidar complained to the father of one Salman Khan about the latter’s manner of riding the motorcycle. A dispute erupted between the two. On the night of Sunday, October 2, Salman reached a garba venue with his associates to look for the man. A fight ensued, in the course of which Salman hit a companion of Shivlal, named Mahesh, with an axe, according to the paper. As more people gathered, Salman and his associates pelted stones at the venue of the garba event, injuring one woman, the report says.

The news agency PTI has reported that four people were injured. Hindustan Times reported that Mahesh and Shivlal, who are receiving treatment, are in a serious condition.

Several news outlets have reported the initial incident as a case of stones having been hurled at a garba venue by Muslims, without mentioning the violent dispute.

“After receiving information about stone pelting at a garba pandal due to a dispute between two groups, the police reached the spot and brought the situation under control,” Superintendent of Police (SP) Anurag Sujania told reporters.

A case was registered against 19 persons under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including 307 (attempt to murder) for hurling stones at the pandal.

Seven of the accused were detained after a probe, Sujania said, adding that some of the accused are “habitual offenders.”

The SP said “illegal construction” of more than 4,500 sq ft worth more than Rs 4.5 crore, belonging to three of the accused, was demolished on Tuesday with the help of the revenue department.

Among those whose houses were razed are Salman.

The demolition, as pointed out by reporter Kashif Kakvi on Twitter, took place within two days of the incident. It therefore took place before a judge could have pronounced the accused guilty.