Eleven arrested and booked for putting objectionable poster in communally sensitive Madhya Pradesh town

A poster bearing picture resembling Tipu Sultan’s picture along with objectionable content likely to endanger communal amity was put at Khandwa town of Madhya Pradesh.
Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan

BHOPAL: Eleven persons, among them five teenagers, have been arrested and booked for sedition for allegedly putting an objectionable poster bearing picture resembling former Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan in communally sensitive Khandwa town of Madhya Pradesh.

The eleven persons who were arrested by cops from Moghat police station on December 3 and December 4 have been booked under Sections 124A (sedition), Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc) and Section 505 (statements inducing public mischief) of IPC, said city SP (CSP Khandwa) Shesh Narayan Tiwari on Tuesday.

"We're consulting legal experts about dropping Section pertaining to sedition in the case," added Tiwari.

While the five accused who are minors (all teenagers) were released by police on personal and surety bond on December 3 and 4, the remaining accused who were taken on day long police remand on Monday, were produced before the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) court in Khandwa town on Tuesday.

One of the six accused Pankaj Soni (who owns the printing press where the poster was published) was granted bail by the court on Tuesday, while the remaining five accused, including Tausif, Rehan, Shahrukh, Azam and Kasim were sent into judicial custody by the same court.

On Saturday (December 2), a poster bearing picture resembling former Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan’s picture along with objectionable content likely to endanger communal amity was put at Jalebi Chowk in the heart of Khandwa town during the Eid Milad Un Nabi procession.

The Moghat police in Khandwa district subsequently lodged an FIR in the matter.

The development prompted state’s home minister Bhupendra Singh to tweet on December 3 about case having been lodged in the matter and a hunt on to track and nab the accused. The minister also tweeted that strict action will be taken against those attempting to vitiate the atmosphere.

Investigations led the police to 11 persons, five of who were minors.

Located 260 km from Bhopal, the Khandwa town is a communally sensitive town and among the two districts (along with Ujjain), where the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has had strong presence in the past.

Most of the eight SIMI operatives who escaped from Bhopal Central Jail on October 30-31, 2017 night after murdering a jail guard and were later gunned down by the police on the outskirts of state capital, hailed from Khandwa district only.

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