The assault and kidnapping of a Harda hotelier and his advocate brother continued to trigger protests across the town on Wednesday, even as police continued to conduct raids in the district and Indore for the two men missing since Monday.
Sudhir Agrawal and his Bhopal-based advocate brother Naveen were allegedly attacked and abducted from the Harda’s Mohanpur village by the aides of Jagdish Rajput over land dispute. A few aides of the Agarwal brothers too were injured in the assault.
Shops at prominent markets in the town, including Ghantaghar, Pratap Talkies, Naya Bazar, Narayan Talkies and Sirali, besides Khirkiya and Timarni towns remained closed as hundreds of traders joined the protest. Meanwhile, 6,500 lawyers in Bhopal district court and all lawyers of Harda district court stayed away from work demanding swift probe in the case. They have threatened to go on a statewide strike if the brothers were not rescued soon.
On Tuesday, family members of the victims had blocked roads in the town.
Inspector general of police (Hoshangabad range) SK Saxena told HT that Rajput, his wife, one of his sons Lalu and their relative Sher Singh had been booked on charges of kidnapping, attempt to murder and rioting.
“We are looking for Rajput’s other sons and the goons hired from Indore, who assaulted the siblings and their aides and kidnapped the brothers on a vehicle on Monday,” Saxena told HT, adding that some of the goon were private club bouncers.
The IG visited the crime site at Mohanpur village and met members of Agrawal family in Harda on Wednesday.
He said the last location of the kidnappers had been traced to Indore from where police had detained an aide of Rajput’s sons Nikhil Tiwari. Police believe two of Rajput’s sons were also hiding in Indore. Police are also searching the jungles between Harda and Indore.
Point of dispute
The Agarwals had purchased seven acres of land at Mohanpur village which was already owned by Rajput
A local court had nullified the land deal, but the order was later stayed by the high court recently after which the brothers reportedly went to meet Rajput in Mohanpur to settle the dispute.
Beaten, dragged and kidnapped
Pankaj Khodre, one of the five aides of the Agrawal brothers, who was attacked by Rajput’s men at Mohanpur village on Monday, told cops that 15 men from Indore had attacked the Agrawal brothers and threatened to take them to Indore and kill them if they didn’t hand over property to Rajput
The brothers were brutally beaten, tied with ropes and dragged before being taken away in a MUV.
Cops failed to act on time?
Khodre told reporters that during the assault his brother had dialed 100 for help, but cops did not reach the spot
After they were taken away in the MUV some bystanders alerted the Sirali police
Cops lodged a case and began probe only after the Agrawal family and some traders submitted a complaint on Monday evening
The IG Hoshangabad, however, has refuted allegations of delay in the probe.