Chhattisgarh Lynching: Raipur Police Makes First Arrest After Muslims Hold Massive Protest

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Team Clarion

RAIPUR – The police in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur on Saturday made first arrest in a case related to the lynching of three Muslim men a day after the members of the minority groups held massive protest demanding arrest of all the accused.

The accused, 23-year-old Harsh Sharma, who is a resident of Raipur, worked in a cement factory. A police statement said that fearing arrest, Sharma had been hiding in a house of a friend in Brosi, Durg district, and had locked the room from outside to mislead investigators.

Additional Superintendent, Kirtan Rathore said that Sharma was among those who chased the truck in which the three victims were travelling.

The police did not mention how many people were involved in the attack. Rathore said they were verifying the different names that had cropped up during the investigation.

On 7 June, three men – Chand Miya, Guddu Khan and Saddam Qureshi – were brutally assaulted by cow vigilantes when the trio were transporting buffaloes from Uttar Pradesh to Odisha. They were chased and assaulted by a mob of 10-12 people in the wee hours. 

The bodies of three victims were found in the nearby river. Chand Miya and Guddu Khan were found dead while Qureshi succumbed to injuries 10 days later in the hospital.

The incident sparked outrage, with Muslims demanding action against the culprits. On Friday, thousand of Muslims took to the streets expressing their anger against the lynchings. The protesters were enraged that no arrests were initiated even after 14 days of the incident.

“The administration should protect communal harmony and constitutional values and should  take action by invoking the charges mentioned in the constitution,” said Rahil Raufi, president of Husaini Sena while addressing the media-persons during the protests.

“The government keeps changing but once the communal harmony and faith in the law and order is lost, it will not be re-established,” he added.

According to reports, around 300-400 people courted arrest while police assured that it will take action against the culprits soon. The protesters also submitted a memorandum to the local administration.

Earlier on June 16, at least 50 people had carried out a march to Raj Bhavan, demanding justice in the case.

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