Death of Muslim victim of Khargone violence shrouded in mystery

New Delhi, April 19 (KMS):  A 28-year-old Muslim youth, Ibris, who had gone missing from Khargone in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh since April 10, the day the town witnessed massive communal violence, has been confirmed dead.

Authorities handed over the body to the family of the deceased in Indore city. Ibris was later buried at his ancestral graveyard in Khargone after a three-hour drive to the city.

It is suspected that Ibris was fatally beaten up or bludgeoned to death by a blunt object by a mob as police found him in a pool of blood close to Kapas Mandi. Reports said that when police arrived at the spot, they saw eight to nine men attacking a lone man. But before the police could apprehend them they fled the scene.

On April 10, clashes broke out on an unprecedented scale in the town that left a number of people injured and several homes and a mosque damaged after Hindutva mobs trespassed Muslim localities and raised provocative slogans during Ram Navmi processions.

When Ibris was brought to the Khargone district hospital, doctors declared him brought dead on arrival. After the short postmortem, we subsequently sent his body to Indore’s MY Hospital for the autopsy,” Rohit Keshwani, SP Khargone.

He further said that the police was unable to identify the body initially, but after an autopsy report, a case of murder and mob violence was filed on April 14.

“The autopsy report reveals that he was hit on the left side of his head with a blunt object which broke his skull and excessive loss of blood led to his death,” the police said.

The same night Ibris’ family filed a missing report. His brother, Ikhlaq, told media that on April 10 evening Ibris had left his home for evening prayer. “Since then he had been missing,” said Ikhaq.

The family searched every mortuary, river, drain, hospital but all in vain until a police official showed up at their home to collect details about ibris. But when he tried to leave without any assurance, Ikhlaq warned the cop that he would go public with the media if the police do not divulge the details about Ibris’ death to the family. Within minutes, the police official agreed and asked Ikhlaq to visit Indore.

Ikhlaq, his other brother, and a few policemen reached Indore at 3am and after identifying him at the hospital, his family took his body to Khargone.

Ibris’ funeral was attended by scores of people. He was led to rest at around 8 am amidst heavy police presence on April 18. Ikhlaq said Ikhalq had a deep wound on his head which is said to have caused his death. “It seems they have attacked him with a sharp object,” said Ikhlaq.

The family contradicted the police version on the matter alleging that Ibris was detained by the police when he was out on the road on April 10 evening. “The police beat him and dragged him into the jeep even when we tried to intervene,” said Ikhalq. The family alleged that police filed the missing report without taking into account what they had to say.

Ibris is survived by his wife and an eight-month-old son.