Claiming it to be a "case of communal lynching," the family of the deceased and community members staged a huge protest at Moghat police station carrying Firoz's body. They raised slogans demanding justice.
Ghazala Ahmad | Clarion India
NEW DELHI — Mere suspicion of theft cost 31-year-old Sheikh Firoz his life as he was brutally beaten up by a mob in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa city on Sunday (9 April) morning.
The merciless mob not only thrashed the victim but left him to die in a drainage after he became unconscious.
Some locals found Firoz, a resident of the city’s Khan Shah Wali Colony, and rushed him to the nearby district hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Claiming it to be a “case of communal lynching,” the family of the deceased and community members staged a huge protest at Moghat police station carrying Firoz’s body. They raised slogans demanding justice.
Local newspaper reports claimed that Firoz was caught stealing a grocery item from a shop. He was attacked by some local residents resulting in his death later.
Sheikh Zubair, Firoz’s younger brother, told Clarion India over the phone that a group of people from the ‘other community’ lynched him.
Reacting to the allegation of theft, Zubair asked: “Even if he is accused of theft, is it fair to kill him?”
“They could have beaten him, filed a complaint against him, handed him over to the police, but they killed him”, he said.
Firoz, an iron welder, was set to get married after Eid. He was getting married to the girl he loved, Zubair said.
“Our mother arranged his love marriage, he was so happy but our happiness turned into mourning in a blink of an eye”, he said.
A First Information Report (FIR) has been filed by the family and registered by Khandwa police against five unidentified persons.
Khandwa Deputy Superintendent Police, Anil Singh Chauhan, confirmed that Firoz was found with several severe wounds in the Chhoti Chhaigaon Makhan area. He said wounds sustained by Firoz suggest that he was attacked with a sharp weapon.
“On the complaint of the victim’s family, an FIR has been registered and we are investigating the matter,” he said.
The DSP also said that Firoz had many cases of theft registered against him in different police stations.
Reports claim that due to a sudden increase in theft cases in the area recently, residents are taking extra precautions. They found some suspicious people entering the village. When challenged, they all fled except one who was lynched by the locals.
Earlier this week, two Muslims, Mohd. Adnan and Afzal Khan were attacked by a group of people, who threw chilli powder in their eyes and attempted to stab them with a knife in the Padam Nagar area of Kahndwa district.
Somehow the duo managed to save their lives and later filed a complaint at the Padam Nagar police station.
Mohd. Adnan confirmed the incident and claimed that some minors, who were drunk, were behind the incident.
Afzal Khan told Clarion India that a complaint was filed at the area police station and five minors involved in the attack have been arrested.
There has been a surge in communal incidents targeting the Muslim community in Khandwa and its neighbouring regions since the anti-Muslim violence during last year’s Ram Navami celebrations in Khargone.