On the day of Holi, following a minor spat, several Muslims ganged up with guns and shot dead a vanvasi (tribal) man and injured many others in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. A visibly angry Chief Minister visited the injured in hospital and ordered the local administration to use bulldozers to tear down the illegal houses of those involved in the violence.
The incident happened in a village called Khamriya Khurd in Raisen and incidentally, Holi this year fell on a Friday. A couple of local vanvasis questioned a local Muslim who was riding rash on a motorcycle. The Muslim youth assaulted the vanvasis and soon more people arrived from both sides and an altercation ensued. Elders of the village intervened and the issue was sorted out amicably, or so the vanvasis thought. The Muslims left only to return with more men bearing sticks and other arms.
Some shops belonging to the main accused and his relatives was set on fire along with some motorcycles. The accused fired several shots, killing an adivasi named Raju and injuring 50. 38 people suffered serious injuries, and six of them are in critical condition.
Police rushed to the spot by 10 PM. A case was registered against 16 accused at the Silwani police station. Police raided the village and by 6 AM, they arrested 13 but three of the accused escaped. Police also seized two weapons, 12 bore rifles, a couple of tractors, and a pickup van used by the accused.
Divisional Commissioner of police, Gulshan Bamra, said that they are investigating and added that policemen from four police stations are camping in Khamriya. Internet services were temporarily withdrawn in the wake of the violent clashes. Top officials including IG Deepika Suri, Collector Arvind Dubey, and SP Vikas Shahwal reached the spot and took stock of the situation. MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan is reportedly directly monitoring the situation.
The injured vanvasis were admitted to the Hamidia multispeciality tertiary care hospital in Bhopal. Leaders of several Hindu organizations met CM Shivraj and have demanded strict action against those accused of shooting the vanvasis. Why were so many weapons accumulated by the Islamists is still a mystery. Shivraj assured them of strict action.
The MP government announced financial assistance of 5 lakh Rupees for Raju’s family, 2 lakhs each for the seriously injured, and Rs.50,000 each to the rest of the injured vanvasis. A special team of doctors was deployed to treat the injured. The shops and the houses of the accused were reportedly built illegally.
Among the injured, there is a young girl who is just 13 years old. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Priyank Kanoongo visited the hospital and the village. They spoke to the family members of the unfortunate girl and assessed the situation. Priyank has asked the MP government for an action taken report.