BHOPAL: Sameer Ullah, the prime suspect arrested on Sunday on charges of orchestrating the attack on a Ram Navami procession in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone district in April this year, is the son of the newly elected councillor Tahir Bi, a police officer said.
District collector Kumar Purushottam has involved the National Security Act against Sameer Ullah, who has nine criminal cases registered against him. “On the basis of the report of the SP (superintendent of police), we have taken action under Section 3(2) of the National Security Act (NSA) 1970 and issued detention orders to keep him in the Central Jail Indore,” the Khargone collector said.
Sameer Ullah’s mother, Tahira Bi, was elected as councillor from ward no 16 in the local bodies’ election that was held recently, a police officer said. She declined to comment on her son’s arrest but local Congress MLA Ravi Joshi said: “We were not aware of the case on Sameer and police should do their work.”
Khargone SP Dharamveer Yadav said, “The accused Sameer Ullah, a resident of Kumharwada of Mohan Talkies, an epicentre of communal violence in Khargone, was arrested on Sunday by a special police team from Khaltaka-Balsamund border of the district.”
“During the investigation, it was found Sameer Ullah provoked the youth to pelt stones on the procession. Over a dozen youth, who have been arrested from the spot took the name of Sameer Ullah,” the SP said.
He added that Sameer created a WhatsApp group and many locals, including some criminals, were part of the group. “On the day of violence, Sameer contacted other accused and was giving instructions to them,” he said.
Police said they were checking the credentials of all group members and whether they received any funding from any banned group.
Khargone was one of several locations where communal violence erupted on Ram Navami in six states across the country. In the aftermath of the clashes, authorities controversially razed 50 structures owned by men accused of stoking violence, triggering allegations that the administration was bypassing legal due process.