Madhya Pradesh Tribals Lynched on Cow Slaughter Suspicion: CM Orders Transfer of SP, Setting Up of SIT

Madhya Pradesh’s Prime Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday ordered the removal of the local police chief in connection with the lynching of two tribesmen in Seoni by a mob accusing them of cow-slaughtering. Sampat Bhatti, a resident of the village of Sagar, and Dhansa Inwati of the village of Simaria were attacked by a mob of 15-20 people, allegedly belonging to Bajrang Dal, in early May 3, resulting in their deaths later in the day.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (CMO) said Chouhan had ordered the transfer of Seoni Superintendent of Police Kumar Prateek and also ordered that a special investigation team be set up to investigate the incident. All staff at Kurai Police Station and Badalpur Police Station, under whose jurisdiction the incident took place, have been removed by order of the CM, it added.

Chouhan also said that the accused have been arrested, that compensation has been paid to the relatives of the two deceased and that jobs for legal heirs are being arranged. At the same time, MP Congressman Kamal Nath said that the CM took action under pressure from the opposition party and the state tribes.

The state government tried to whitewash the murders and give the administration a clean slate, Nath claimed, adding that the guilty officials should be suspended and a high-level investigation must be set up instead of SIT. He also claimed that clothing associated with the BJP was behind the incident.

An official said a special team including additional chief secretary (home) Rajesh Rajora, deputy director general (ADG) of the police Akheto Sema and Shrikant Bhanot, secretary, MP Board of Secondary Education has been appointed to investigate this incident and submit a report on how these can be prevented. The team will arrive on a two-day visit on Monday, he said.

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