Massive protests broke out in Bhopal and Harda on Thursday after the badly disfigured bodies of two brothers, Bhopal-based lawyer Naveen Agrawal (45) and his hotelier brother Sudhir Agrawal (51), were found near a canal in a village in adjacent Hoshangabad district. The brothers, along with their aides, were allegedly kidnapped and brutally assaulted over a land row in Harda district on Monday. The aides, however, had escaped after the car in which the kidnappers had dumped them with the intention to throw them in a river had met with an accident.
Seven persons, including a woman, have been arrested in the case, while five others are on the run.
In Bhopal, members of Agrawal community led by Congress leader Govind Goel staged demonstration outside state’s home minister Babulal Gaur’s house while district court lawyers forced the closure of court and blocked streets outside. They also set afire the effigy of the home minister and demanded his resignation.
In Harda, commercial establishments were closed across the town as angry protesters threw stones at the police while traders along with women members of the bereaved family demonstrated outside the Harda Kotwali. They demanded action against some senior police officers, including district police chief Prem Babu Sharma, for alleged laxity in investigation.
In a late evening development, the sub inspector in charge of Sirali police station VS Ghuraiya was suspended and a probe ordered against him.
Also, a five-strong special investigation team (SIT) headed by Harda SDOP Vinod Srivastava was constituted by the Hoshangabad IG to probe the entire case.
“Bodies of the Agrawal brothers were found in Bandarkhoh village following information from one of the accused Nikhil Tiwari, who was caught in Indore on Wednesday,” Hoshangabad range inspector general SK Saxena said.
The hands of both deceased were tied with ropes, their faces disfigured and burnt to hide their identity, the IG added.
“Seven persons, including mastermind Jagdish Rajput, his wife, sons Yashwant and Lalu, nephews Sher Singh and Rahul, besides Indore man Nikhil Tiwari have been arrested and booked for murder, abduction, destruction of evidence and rioting. Five other accused, including Rajput’s four other sons and his nephew are on the run,” SP Prem Babu Sharma said.
“While Naveen died first due to serious assault injuries, Sudhir also succumbed to wounds a short while later on Monday only,” the SP added.
The murders come close on the heels of the murder of ex-American Embassy School staffer Leena Sharma whose body was found in jungles of Hoshangabad on May 15.
All for a piece of land
The siblings were involved in a land row with Rajput and had gone to Mohanpur village with five aides to reach an out-of-court settlement. The plan, however, went awry as Rajput’s sons and goons hired by them from Indore brutally assaulted the brothers and their aides.