- Kin of the deceased has accused the police of keeping the victim's death under wraps for eight days
- The body of Ibresh Khan was kept at a government hospital in Indore
- A police officer said that Ibresh Khan died due to serious injuries to his head caused by stones
A 30-year-old man who went missing during communal clashes in Madhya Pradesh's Khargone city has become the first fatality of violence but his death has raised allegations of cover-up, with the kin of the deceased accusing the police of keeping his death under wraps for eight days.
The body of Ibresh Khan was kept at a government hospital in Indore for eight days after it was found in Khargone's Anand Nagar area as the freezer facility was not available in Khargone, police said on Monday.
A police officer said that Ibresh Khan died due to serious injuries to his head caused by stones.
Communal clashes had broken out in Khargone city on April 10 during a Ram Navami procession, leading to arson and stone-pelting, leading to the clamping of curfew. Superintendent of Police Siddharth Choudhary had received a bullet injury during the violence.
"An unidentified body was found the next day (April 11) of communal violence in the Anand Nagar area of Khargone," In-charge Superintendent of Police (SP) Rohit Kashwani told reporters.
He said since there was no freezer facility available in Khargone, the body was kept at the Indore government hospital after postmortem. Kashwani said the family members of Ibresh Khan registered a missing person complaint on April 14.
"Ibresh Khan's body was handed over to his family members on Sunday after they identified him", he said, adding that further investigation is underway.
Kashwani said that Ibresh Khan died due to serious injuries to his head caused by stones.
However, kin of Ibresh Khan, a resident of the Islampura area, alleged cover-up by the police.
Ibresh's brother Ikhlaq Khan claimed that the deceased was seen in the custody of the police by some people on April 12. He alleged that the police informed him about Ibresh's death and the whereabouts of his body only after he threatened to go to the media.
Ikhlaq Khan alleged that Ibresh had gone to provide food for 'Iftar' (evening meal eaten by Muslims during Ramadan fasting) in the Anand Nagar area when he was hit by a stone.
"The people in Anand Nagar attacked my brother with weapons and crushed his head with a stone," he alleged while speaking to reporters.
Ikhlaq Khan also claimed that Ibresh Khan was seen in the custody of the police by some people on April 12 but these witnesses are not ready to depose.
"A policeman came to me on Sunday night and told me that Ibresh's body is kept in Indore," he said.
Ikhlaq Khan claimed that the condition of Ibresh's body indicates that he was brutally attacked.
"While his one eye was broken there were cuts on his face and legs," he said.
Ikhlaq Khan alleged that the police kept the family members in the dark about the whereabouts of his brother for eight days.
"They didn't disclose the whereabouts of my brother even after registering a missing person complaint. The police informed me about my brother's body only after I threatened to go to the media," he claimed.
(With inputs from PTI)