Police have arrested nine persons in connection with the death of two tribal men who were allegedly assaulted by a group of people over suspicion of cow slaughter in Madhya Pradesh’s Seoni district, an official said on Wednesday.
The two tribal men died on Tuesday morning after some people, allegedly belonging to the Bajrang Dal, beat them up over suspicion of cow slaughter in Simaria village under Kurai police station limits.
After the incident, a group led by opposition Congress legislator Arjun Singh Kakodia staged a six-hour-long protest on the Jabalpur-Nagpur highway on Tuesday, demanding job and financial assistance for the kin of the deceased. They ended the protest after an assurance from the district administration.
Local MP and Union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste said it is yet not clear whether the accused belonged to any organisation.
The dispute started over the meat (of cow) and it would not be correct as of now to say that any organisation is involved in the incident, Kulaste told reporters on Tuesday night in Seoni. He said action will be taken on the basis of an inquiry and nobody, irrespective of their association, will be spared.
According to an FIR registered following a complaint by Brajesh Batti, who was injured in the incident, a group of 15-20 people allegedly hit Sampatlal Batti, a resident of Sagar village, and Simaria resident Dhansay Inwati with sticks accusing them of cow slaughter between 2.30 am and 3 am on Tuesday. When Brajesh Batti arrived at the spot, he too was assaulted.
Inwati and Sampatlal Batti died around 6 am on Tuesday during treatment in the hospital, the complainant said.
Following the incident, police arrested Sher Singh Rathore (28), Ajay Sahu (27), Vedant Chouhan (18), Deepak Avadhia (38), Basant Raghuvanshi (32) and Raghunandan Raghuvanshi (20), all of whom have been named in the FIR, the police said in a press release.
Three suspects – Anshul Chourasia (22), Shivraj Raghuvanshi (23) and Rinku Pal (30) – were also arrested, the police said, adding that hunt was on for others involved in the incident.
Meanwhile, the district administration in an official release said a financial assistance worth Rs 8.25 lakh has been approved for the kin of each of the deceased. Also, Sampatlal Batti’s daughter Sunita Batti has been appointed as a daily wage employee at a tribal girls’ hostel in Barelipar village, and Dhansay Inwati’s son Jaiprakash has been appointed as a daily wager at a higher secondary school in Vijaypani village, the release said.
Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath has constituted a committee of three-party legislators – Omkar Singh, Dr Ashok Marskole and Narayan Patta, all belonging to tribal community, to look into the incident, Nath’s media coordinator and state Congress spokesman Narendra Saluja said.
State BJP president VD Sharma termed the incident as “inhuman” and assured that his party government in the state will not spare any of the culprits.