Khargone in Madhya Pradesh was marred with violence during the Ram Navami celebrations on April 10, 2022. The Shobha Yatra being taken out by devotees had to be abandoned midway after it came under a stone-pelting attack. The violence subsequently escalated as several vehicles were set on fire.
The day after the riots, the Khargone administration took strict action against the miscreants who had pelted stones at the Ram Navami procession. The illegally constructed buildings used to pelt stones at the procession were razed to the ground by the administration.
Following the news of the Madhya Pradesh government’s strict action against the stone-pelters, a claim went viral that during its action against the rioters, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government also demolished the kiosk of a man who had lost both his arms in an accident in 2005.
In a video, the man, Wasim Sheikh, was heard saying how the administration demolished his kiosk during the action taken against stone-pelters. The video was first shared by alleged journalist Kashif Kakvi through her Twitter handle.
#KhargoneRiot— काश/if Kakvi (@KashifKakvi) April 18, 2022
Terming him a “stone pelter”, a gumti (shop) of Wasim Shaikh was razed by @CollecterK on April 11.
Shaikh’s hand were amputated in 2005 after he sustained injuries from electric current.
Father of two, Shaik has a family of 5 to feed. Yet, admin razed his shop. pic.twitter.com/zmDS5xPwM4
The allegation was then shared by several people online, including some members of the Parliament like AIMIM’s Asasuddin Owaisi and Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi.
BJP’s Hindutva ideology has no place for humanity. It’s the State Government’s arms of Law that have been amputated. It feels powerful after making poor people poorer & homeless. It has an obsession with giving extrajudicial collective punishment to the Muslim community https://t.co/qc0OKNjTti— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) April 18, 2022
Have you met one of the stone pelter of Khargone as identified by Madhya Pradesh government? His small shop was razed by bulldozers, just like a home made under PMJAY scheme. pic.twitter.com/KeKlAeWwsW— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) April 19, 2022
However, a day later, Wasim Sheikh took a u-turn and said that neither his house nor his kiosk has been demolished by the administration. He even made an appeal to the locals to maintain peace in the aftermath of the violence on Ram Navami.
मध्यप्रदेश : खरगोन हिंसा में बिना दोनों हाथ वाले शख्स को पत्थरबाज मानकर, उसकी छोटी दुकान (गुमठी) पर चला दिया बुलडोज़र— News24 (@news24tvchannel) April 18, 2022
वसीम का आरोप “मुझे रोटी और पानी दूसरे देते हैं, मैं बिना हाथ के कैसे पत्थर फेंक सकता हूं? @JournalistVipin pic.twitter.com/HqJhBFOBpy
Hindi daily Bhaskar also reported how Wasim Sheikh had backtracked from his previous statement. It was reported that Wasim Sheikh, who had claimed that his shop had been demolished until the morning, changed his mind in the evening.
While people were still trying to figure out whether the administration has or has not demolished his kiosk, Wasim Sheikh put out another video today where he said that the administration told him to say they haven’t demolished his kiosk. However, in this video, he refrained from directly saying that the administration has demolished his kiosk and said that CCTV cameras can reveal who actually demolished his kiosk.
#Exclusive— काश/if Kakvi (@KashifKakvi) April 19, 2022
“Aap sirf itna bolo ke Gumti prashasan dwara nahi todi gai” another twist in Wasim Shaikh’s case.
A day after backing out from his statement, today Wasim said that “his shop was razed and it’s fact.”
“One can check the CCTV footage of demolition,” @newsclickin pic.twitter.com/088vXxc8bh
All these u-turns from the person affected are making it really difficult to ascertain the truth. However, we will update the story if there is conclusive evidence one way or the other after the administration examines CCTV evidence.
On April 10, a Ram Navami procession that began in the Talab Chowk area of Khargone had to be abandoned midway after stones were pelted at the procession. Riots escalated as several vehicles were set on fire. The cops resorted to firing tear gas shells to bring the situation under control. During the violence, a total of 24 people were injured, including six police personnel.
The day after the riots, the Khargone administration took strict action against the miscreants who had pelted stones at the Ram Navami procession. The illegally constructed buildings used for stone-pelting were bulldozed by the administration. Five JCB machines were deployed for the task. According to the reports, 77 people have been arrested and the city of Khargone continues to be under curfew.