Dacoities and Bhumi?s horrific murder shook City
THE YEAR 2006 will be remembered in crime annals for Bangladeshi dacoit gangs who struck in Indore, not once but twice. On both occasions the gangs were caught, but during the first wave of dacoities they gave sleepless nights to the police and spread terror among people living in suburbs.india Updated: Dec 27, 2006 01:55 IST
THE YEAR 2006 will be remembered in crime annals for Bangladeshi dacoit gangs who struck in Indore, not once but twice. On both occasions the gangs were caught, but during the first wave of dacoities they gave sleepless nights to the police and spread terror among people living in suburbs.
The feeling of insecurity among people was legitimate since at first the police themselves were clueless about the identity of the perpetrators. The second time round the Indore police were prepared half expecting the gang to strike since they had already committed dacoities in Bhopal, Ujjain and Dewas.
After this, citizens were horrified by the brutal murder of Bhumi Ramchandani on September 16 by her mother-in-law Dhanwantari, father-in-law Jamnadas and husband Manoj.
Bhumi was repeatedly stabbed, cut into pieces, stuffed in polythene bags then dumped by her mother-in-law in a nearby garden. The sheer cold bloodedness of the Ramchandanis triggered an unprecedented reaction among people.
While the Sindhi community boycotted the family, there were demands to hang all the accused. Even as political parties jumped in to cash in on the issue, the people’s desire to ensure punishment for the killers was genuine.
While people at large were not affected after police slapped two cases under Section 307 of IPC (attempted murder) against Congress MLA Ashwin Joshi, it created a stir in Congress circles. This was perhaps the first time that a sitting MLA had been booked under Section 307 of IPC.
Although, Joshi is yet to be arrested in both the cases (one related to the alleged attack on saffron leader Kamal Waghela and the other for allegedly shooting at former Congress and now BJP backed leader Munna Ansari) the sword of arrest hangs on him.
The precursor of slapping Section 307 against a political leader started when Khajrana police booked former corporator Usman Patel after he and his supporters were embroiled in a fight with opponents earlier this year.
A discernable change in policing witnessed this year was when the police started taking action against members of the saffron brigade for breaking the law. In the past few years, saffronites have known to have gheraoed police stations, abused officials and generally did what they wanted with impunity.
This year local police and the magistracy booked Dharma Raksha Samiti member Kishore Dangi under the NSA for burning a bus belonging to minority community institution IKDC after it ran over a man in Rajwada on October 12. The charge did not stick though. The police also took action against Bajrang Dal leader Manoj Malpani for sitting on the MIG TI’s chair and acting as if he owned the police station, while leading a protest on September 16.
Malpani and his supporters were booked under Sections 353 (obstructing a Government official in discharging duty), 447 (criminal trespass) and 147 (rioting) a month later. The delay was due to political pressure, but a beginning had been made.
Saffonites have, however, not given up their aggressive tendencies and their efforts to polarise the two major communities continues. This year, Ganghor Ghat was added to the long list of communal flash points in the City.
The Dharma Raksha Samiti, another off shoot of the saffron brigade, took it upon themselves to start offering prayers at the Ganesh and Ram temples at Ghanghor Ghat.
These temples are surrounded by Muslims households and provocative slogans during prayer meetings every Sunday and various other religious functions only adds to the tension in the area. Along with Karbala Maidan, a permanent police picket has been placed at Ghanghor Ghat now.
The police also woke up to the fact that SIMI activists were quietly living in the City and carrying out their activities. The urgency, however, came after SIMI was linked to the Mumbai train blasts. Seven SIMI activists have since been arrested and the police were also scouring for their financers.
The arrests were triggered when Choti Gwaltoli police caught former SIMI state president Imran Ansari with other SIMI members at Wadi Hotel, when he had come to Indore from Khandwa jail for a court hearing. Shockingly though, at that time Ansari was with two cops who had brought him from Khandwa for the court hearing!
First Published: Dec 27, 2006 01:55 IST