India

Muslim family asked to pay Rs770,000 for property damages

Bhopal, October 20 (KMS): In what appears to be a clear ploy to suppress minorities, particularly Muslims, across India, a family in Kharagone city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, has received two notices to pay Rs770,000 on the accusation of damaging the public property.

The Muslim family has been accused of damaging public property during violence on the occasion of Hindu festival Ram Navami in the area that took place earlier this year. However, the fact is that during the Hindu religious procession Hindutva goons had torched the homes of Muslims and a mosque that led to clashes in the area.

One of the members of the Muslim family, a 12-year-old boy has received the notice for payment of Rs 2.9 lakh for damaging public property during the violence that took place in April this year, while his father Kalu Khan, has also received a separate notice in which he has been asked to pay Rs 4.8 lakh by the Madhya Pradesh Claims Tribunal. They have been asked to pay the amount under new but controversial, Madhya Pradesh Prevention and Recovery of Damages to Public Property Act, which came into effect in January this year. The law allows the government to ask for compensation from lawbreakers who damage public properties during violence.

In case of the Muslim family, their Hindu neighbors lodged a police complaint claiming that Kalu Khan’s family robbed and vandalised their home during the violence.

However, Kalu Khan denied the claim. Though they moved a plea seeking relief before the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, the court rejected their petition asking them to approach the tribunal. The tribunal also subsequently denied the plea.

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