By Express News Service

BHOPAL:  A day after a 25-year-old bangle seller from UP was booked for allegedly sexually harassing a minor girl, Hindu outfits staged a protest in Indore, alleging a spate in crimes against Hindus, particularly girls.

The city police said the protestors had congregated without permission and action would be taken against them.

A mob of right wing Hindu outfits staged a protest at city’s Regal Crossing despite prohibitory orders.

They later submitted a memorandum to DIG-Indore Manish Kapooria, alleging anti-national activities and crime against Hindus were on the rise in Indore. SDPI and PFI links to such crimes were also alleged in the memorandum.

The opposition Congress alleged the ruling BJP’s hand in Tuesday’s protest.

“Why hasn’t the local administration acted against the Hindu outfits till now,” MP Congress general secretary (media) KK Mishra said.  

MP Home Minister Narottam Mishra hinted the government was mulling banning the PFI.

“A delegation of Muslim community met me on Monday and demanded a ban on PFI. I’ve forwarded their memorandum to the home department for legal opinion,” Mishra said.

Sunday’s assault on Tasleem sparked a political war of words with AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi slamming Narottam Mishra, claiming his tone seemed protective of the assailants.

Mishra told Owasi not to interfere in MP.

“Rule of law is being maintained in MP and none will be allowed to disturb law and order. Anyone who holds two to three identity proofs and conceals his real identity is a criminal,” he said.

Meanwhile, a day after AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi accused him of trying to shield those who allegedly beat up a bangle seller in Indore, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra on Tuesday asked him not to “interfere” in the issues in the BJP-ruled state.

“Please do not interfere. there is rule of law in Madhya Pradesh. No one will be allowed to raise their heads here, nor will they be allowed to spread enmity,” Mishra told reporters here when asked about Owaisi’s allegations.

“I want to tell Owaisi that those who carry two-three different identity cards are criminals. Those who hide their names are criminals. Police have registered a case against those who have beaten up the man and arrested them,” he added.

A 25-year-old bangle seller, identified as Tasleem Ali, was allegedly beaten up by a mob in Indore on Sunday after finding out his name.

Four persons were arrested over the assault, while a case was also registered against Ali for allegedly touching a 13-year-old girl inappropriately.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen chief Owaisi had on Monday accused the Madhya Pradesh government of not taking action against those involved in the assault.

“The Home Minister of MP is also openly making excuses to save criminals. There is no difference between elected governments and extremist mobs,” he had tweeted.

Earlier, Mishra had told reporters that Ali had tried to hide his identity which led to the row, and two Aadhaar cards were seized from his possession.

Police have so far arrested four persons.

The arrested persons were part of a mob that thrashed 25-year-old Taslim Ali on Sunday after asking his name, he said.

The arrested persons are identified as Rakesh Pawar (38), Vikas Malviya (27), Rajkumar Bhatnagar (37) and Vivek Vyas (35), Banganga police station in-charge Rajendra Soni said.

He said the police are scanning video footage to identify and nab other persons involved in the attack.

Police are also investigating the charges of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and forgery registered against Ali.

Ali was booked under the POCSO Act for allegedly touching a 13-year-old girl inappropriately in Indore city, officials had said on Monday.

In the melee, Ali, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, left behind a carry bag in which two Aadhaar cards were found, the officials had said.

Based on the girl’s complaint, a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and IPC sections 420 (cheating) and 471 (using fake documents as real ones), among others, was registered against Ali.

Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra had said the controversy started when this man described himself as a Hindu to sell bangles to women during the holy month of saavan, while he belongs to another community.

Eyewitnesses said protestors waved saffron flags and raised slogans such as ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Hindustan me rahna hoga, Vande Matram kahna hoga’, ‘Jai-Jai Siya Ram’ and ‘Pakistan Murdabad’.

Despite bringing these incidents to the notice of the police, no firm action is being taken under the pressure from a particular group, they alleged.

The memorandum mentioned pelting of stones during an Independence Day function, eve-teasing of minor girls and incidents of “luring young girls by men by hiding their true identity”.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Manish Kapooria, however, said appropriate action has been taken in all such cases.

He said the cooperation of people is needed in maintaining communal harmony in the city.

“Police will not allow any particular community to disrupt the peace in Indore,” he said.

( With PTI Inputs)