In MP, Muslim man faces bulldozer action for raping tribal minor

Officials said the family of the accused could not produce documents to established legality of the house

DEWAS | Updated: 22 August, 2023 7:37 pm IST

DEWAS: Ahead of the Assembly polls, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh demolished the home of a Muslim man accused of raping a minor tribal girl in Dewas district on Tuesday morning.

Farhan Pathan was arrested on charges of rape, along with relevant sections of the POCSO Act and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, on August 19, based on the complaint filed by the victim.

Tribal organizations, along with activists from Hindu outfits, organized a protest rally and staged a blockade on the highway following the incident.

Local authorities demolished a portion of Farhan’s home in the Khategaon village of Dewas district on Monday. Around 6:30 am on Tuesday, a team consisting of the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), sub-divisional officer of police (SDOP), police station in-charge, and Nagar Parishad CEO (chief executive officer), arrived at the site with a bulldozer and resumed the demolition.

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Videos of the incident showed the accused’s mother-in-law making an emotional appeal to the officials for mercy.

However, Hindu organizations are not satisfied with the action taken. “The demolition exercise carried out against the accused is just a façade. The administration has only razed temporary structures of his residence,” said Bajrang Dal’s Chandrashekhar Vishnoi.

They are demanding a case be filed under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2021 – popularly known as the love jihad law. This law penalizes individuals for establishing physical relationships with people belonging to other religions by concealing their real identity.

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The CEO of the Devas municipality stated that the razed structure was illegal. “The occupants could not produce the required documents to prove that the home was built legally.”

This action is in line with the unofficial policy of BJP governments to demolish the houses of criminals based on the legal statuTs of the structure. In April of this year, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government demolished 45 properties belonging to those involved in rioting during the Ram Navami celebrations in Khargone.

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