Anger boils over as Jhabua blast accused still on the run

  • Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Oct 12, 2015 12:06 IST
Rajendra Kaswa’s house in Petlawad has been sealed by the police after the tragedy. Kaswa has been on the run ever since. (HT photo)

A month after the Petlawad blast in MP, Rajendra Kaswa, the main accused is yet to be arrested by the Jhabua police.

In Petlawad, Kaswa is known as a “mass-murderer” whom residents want to teach a lesson. They are also angry with the police as they have failed to arrest Kaswa.

“Kaswa ko pakad ke totay (gelatin) laga dena chahiye,” said 16-year-old Chetali Rathore whose father was killed in the blast.

“He killed my father with bombs and …he should also be killed by bombs,” she said.

The victims’ families are demanding that a case of murder be registered against Kaswa. “Why he was not booked under Section 302 IPC for murder. He should be hanged until death,” said Kamal Singh, a relative of one of the victims who was killed in the blast.

People belonging to Sirvi group – a sub-caste of Patidar community — said that the Jain community to which Kasawa belongs had helped him escape after the blast.

“Jains of Petlawad have hijacked all business through illegal means and some of them are involved in hoarding and money lending businesses,” said Babulal Mulave, a local Srivi leader.

“We believe some of people of Jain community who helped Kaswa to escape, are still with helping him.”

However, a leader of the local Jain community said that they had thrown out Kaswa from the all the positions in the community and they are not helping him.

“The allegations made by some Sirvis are wrong. It is just to malign the image of the Jain community. No Jains are involved in any illegal activities,” said Vinod Bhandari, president Nagar Parishad and a local leader of the Jain community.

“No one from the community is supporting Rajendra Kaswa,” he said.

Kaswa went missing after the incident, and initially police were also suspicious about his death in the blast.

Later, police have conducted a DNA test of the Kaswa’s family and matched it with the unidentified bodies found at the blast site and concluded that he is alive and in hiding.

On September 12, more than 80 people were killed and nearly 100 injured after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored illegally, ripped through a crowded area in the town.

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