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Damoh scuffle: Magisterial probe ordered, NSA to be invoked against one accused

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Bhopal, Feb 5 (PTI) A magisterial probe has been ordered into a scuffle involving members of two communities in Damoh city after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav warned of the strictest action against miscreants, an official said on Monday.

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A process has also been initiated to invoke the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against one of the accused persons, identified as Akram Khan Rain, for allegedly making inflammatory speech.

Several members of a community staged a protest outside Kotwali police station in Damoh city following a scuffle between a tailor and some persons of another community on Saturday night, police said.

"In Damoh, the miscreants tried to disturb the law-and-order situation, which was controlled by the police administration in time. Chief Minister Mohan Yadav has given instructions for investigation regarding this incident. Strictest action will be taken against the culprits. Maintaining peace in Madhya Pradesh is the main priority of the government," the CMO tweeted on X.

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Damoh collector Mayank Agrawal said a magisterial probe has been ordered which will look into the reasons that triggered the protest and also identify persons responsible for the incident.

Additional District Magistrate Meena Masram will also probe if the protest was pre-planned, as per the orders issued by the collector.

Superintendent of Police Sunil Tiwari on Monday said he has proposed to the district administration to invoke NSA against Akram Khan Rain, who was detained by police for allegedly making an inflammatory speech.

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"A petty dispute occurred on Saturday between one Lallu Sharma and tailor Ansar Khan over the delivery of stitched clothes on time. Sharma and his associates misbehaved with one Hafiz (a Muslim cleric) when he intervened," said Kotwali police station in-charge Anand Singh.

"Soon, a large number of people gathered at the police station demanding to arrest and bulldoze the house of the accused (from another community) within two hours," he said.

The cleric and some other persons were also trying to pacify the crowd, he said, adding that based on a complaint lodged by the tailor, police registered a case and arrested two men on Saturday night.

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When police were dispersing the crowd, Akram Khan, addressing the crowd on a mobile loudspeaker, allegedly said the hands of the accused (involved in the alleged manhandling of the Muslim cleric) would be chopped and their throat would be cut if the police failed to do justice within 24 hours, Singh said.

Police registered a case under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc), 143 (unlawful assembly) and 147 (Punishment for rioting) of the Indian Penal Code against 30 to 40 persons, he said.

Akram Khan and two of his associates have been detained, he said.

Meanwhile, a video purportedly showing a man threatening physical harm has gone viral.

Another video clip shows police officer Anand Singh telling the crowd that two of the accused (involved in the manhandling incident) have been arrested and action would be taken against others within 24 hours. PTI ADU COR MAS NSK

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