Section 144 has been imposed in parts of Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh following communal violence on Sunday (16 April) afternoon.
As per various reports, a mob comprising Muslim men thrashed two Hindu men for sitting in a cafe with a burqa-clad Muslim girl. Videos of the mob assaulting the two men and the girl have been circulated on social media.
Khandwa Superintendent of Police Satendra Shukla told the media that the two male victims are in the same educational institute as the girl; one of them is a school lab teacher, while another is a student.
On the statement of the girl, four men have been booked under charges of uttering obscene words, causing hurt, threatening with death and crime done by a crowd with common intention.
The girl's statement in the first information report (FIR) filed in the case (148/2023 at Moghat Road police station of Khandwa), which has been accessed by Swarajya, says that she was sitting in a tea shop and sipping on a beverage with her friends on the afternoon of 16 April, when three-four men arrived at the place and dragged them out.
They asked the girl why she was hanging out with Hindu men when there was no dearth of Muslim men, the statement says.
The girl identified the four men as Azhar Ali, Shadab, Mohsin and Irfan.
At 11pm on the same day, local corporator Ashfaq Sigad reached the police station with his supporters to get a police case filed against the two Hindu men for molestation.
The crowd reportedly pelted stones at the police station and shouted slogans against the police accusing them of biased action. Police used mild force to disperse the mob, after which heavy police were deployed in the area.
Soon, Section 144, prohibiting gathering of more than four people at a spot, was imposed in the area.
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