Bhopal: An eight months pregnant tribal woman reportedly miscarried after a group of men, allegedly from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), attacked a tribal village in Madhya Pradesh’s Barwani district in suspicion of religious conversion and kicked her stomach.
The incident occurred on December 31 afternoon at Devra village of Thikri tehsil, 50-km away from the district headquarter, when a mob of 25-30 people, armed with sticks attacked the home of a tribal Sardar Vaskale, 35, and thrashed the residents and hurled abuses suspecting conversion to Christianity.
However, even after two weeks, the Barwani Police have reportedly refused to file an FIR on the incident despite repeated complaints and dharna by the members of Bhim Army and a tribal outfit, Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti at Thikri Police Station of the district.
Talking over phone from Barwani, the victim’s husband Rakesh Alawe, 28, claimed that a group of mob attacked their home on December 31 afternoon and kicked on her stomach. “She started screaming and fell on the floor as they kicked her,” he said.
“There was blood all over the floor and the attackers took our mobile phones. So, I rushed to another village to call an ambulance. Upon reaching the hospital, the doctor informed that the child had died,” Alawe added.
A video of Leela narrating the incident has also gone viral on social media.
Raju Patel, a member of JAYS, claimed that the police is constantly pressuring the victims to sign an agreement with the men who attacked and withdraw their complaint. “We have held a day-long dharna at the police station demanding FIR, but no action has been taken even after two weeks because the attackers are from RSS,” he alleged.
Chief Superintendent of Police Ruprekha Yadav, who has been given the charge to investigate the matter, claimed that a zero FIR has been registered over the death of the unborn child and investigation is underway.
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Meanwhile, in a complaint to the Thikri Police Station and Barwani Superintendent of Police Nimish Agarwal, the victims along with the members of Bhim Army, alleged that “the sarpanch of Khuranpura village (2.5 km away from Devra) Mangal Patel along with Sriram Patidar, Ravi Khanna, Raj Rathore, Ramesh Rathore, Gaurav Sharma and 27 other men belonging to RSS have attacked the village and brutally thrashed the residents in suspicion of conversion.”
The complaint added that the men allegedly kicked the stomach of eight months pregnant Leela Bai, 25, a resident of another village, who had come to Sardar Vaskale’s home on an invitation for special prayers.
“Nearly 25-30 RSS men broke into my house and attacked me and my family members alleging religious conversion,” Vaskale told NewsClick over phone.
“They also attacked the women who tried to stop them. In the scuffle they kicked Leela, my aunt’s daughter-in-law of on her stomach after which she fell down and started bleeding. They also threatened to kill us if we reported the matter to the police,” he added, recalling the horrific night.
“They left after a police vehicle arrived on the spot,” he said.
Demanding strict action against the assailants, the complaint urged the police to register an FIR under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Section 302, 304, 147, 148 and other sections of the IPC for killing a child, creating riot and assaulting innocents.
However, town inspector of Thikri PS, CS Baghle claimed that they have received a counter complaint by the residents of Khuranpura village alleging that forceful religious conversion was underway in the village and they were trying to stop that.
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Talking about the issue, CSP Ruprekha Yadav, said, “Some villagers attacked the tribal family on the suspicion of conversion. But, it is yet to be established whether the woman miscarried due to the attack.”
“We are waiting for the medical reports of the woman who was allegedly attacked by the mob and talking to eye-witnesses of the incident to know the real reason of the attack, the probe is on,” CSP Yadav added.
On being asked about the alleged involvement of RSS members, Yadav replied, “The victim and residents of the village have claimed that they were RSS men, but the probe is still on and nothing can be revealed until we complete it.”
NewsClick tried to reach Barwani MP Sumer Singh Solanki, who is also close to the RSS, for his comment on the alleged involvement of RSS members in the attack, but he did not respond despite repeated attempts.