Residents of CP Shekhar Nagar, a slum situated on the banks of Kahn River in Indore, clashed with the Pandrinath police after a 24-year old youth died in a wall collapse in the slum on Monday morning. The youth has been identified as Anil Totaram.
The police had to use tear gas shells and lathi charge the mob that had gathered at the police station and started pelting stones at the police and vandalized vehicle in the afternoon. Several persons, including cops have been injured in the course of the stone pelting and lathi charge. At least three persons have been taken into custody by police.
According to sources, the wall collapsed when some of the residents were removing debris and breaking a wall, and Anil was standing on the other side of the wall, which fell on him.
The incident occurred at around 11 am, for which the residents are holding IMC responsible for the wall collapse. Most of the residents of CP Shekhar Nagar have been relocated to low cost houses in Gandhi Nagar in Bada Bangarda and their houses are being demolished by IMC, though some are still staying there and refusing to move.
Residents damage vehicles parked at IMC zonal office
After the youth’s death, some of the residents first vent their ire on the nearby IMC zonal office. They damaged several vehicles parked there.
According to IMC daroga, Vijay Narole, the mob damaged five IMC vehicles, including three JCBs, and two dumpers, of which one was set on fire. Several private four wheelers and motorcycles owned by IMC employees and parked at the zonal office were also damaged.
People demand FIR against IMC
The mob then moved to the Pandrinath police station demanding that an FIR should be lodged against the IMC as they were responsible for the wall collapse and were even giving out two names.
The police refused and said they would verify the matter first and then lodge an FIR. Hot talks continued for over an hour, when suddenly the mob that had gathered outside the Pandrinath police station started pelting stones in which several policemen received minor injuries.
They also damaged several vehicles parked outside and set a motorcycle of a journalist on fire. The police then used tear gas and lathi-charged the mob.
IMC officials deny their involvement
Meanwhile, the IMC officials have denied their involvement and said they had carried out a demolition drive on Sunday and no drive was carried out today. They said Anil died when one of the residents was breaking a wall and it fell on him. Anil had apparently been warned to move but he did not.
SP (West) Kalyan Chakrabarthy said that they were trying to identify all those who were involved in the stone pelting and arson.
After taking control of the situation, police detained Adivasi Rights activist Madhuri Krishnaswamy and about a dozen residents of CP Shekhar Nagar.
Krishnaswamy and residents have been demanding police to register case against IMC officials who were conducting demolition despite the court order for lawful eviction.
Advocate Shanno Khan said, “IMC should have started demolition only after the area is cleared. It is because of their irresponsible actions the wall was rendered weak and fell over the youth.”
Lawyer beaten up
While the lathi-charge was taking place, Hemant Parmar, a law officer of the Human Rights Law Network received several blows from the police.
Parmar is the junior of advocate Shanno Khan, who is fighting for the residents of CP Shekhar Nagar who are unwilling to move. Parmar alleged that he had been beaten as he was working for the slum dwellers.
As soon as news reached that a lawyer had been injured in the attack, the Indore District Bar Association president Ravindra Singh Gaur and other office bearers reached the police station and demanded action against police for beating up a lawyer who was in his uniform.