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Right-wing group from Bengal offers help to family of Rajasthan man who allegedly killed migrant on camera

A year after Rajasthan resident Shambhu Lal Regar triggered countrywide outrage after being caught on camera murdering a Bengali Muslim labourer, a Hindu group from Bengal called Singha Bahini has offered his family financial and legal support.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2019 10:46 IST
Tanmay Chatterjee
Tanmay Chatterjee
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Devdutta Maji (second from left), president of Hindu group Singha Bahini, visited Shambhu Lal Regar’s family at Rajsamand and gave a cheque for Rs one lakh to his wife Sita Regar.

A year after Rajasthan resident Shambhu Lal Regar triggered countrywide outrage by allegedly killing a Bengali Muslim labourer on camera, a far-right Hindu group from Bengal has come to the help of the accused’s family with financial and legal support.

On December 6, 2017, Regar allegedly killed Afzarul Khan, a resident of Sayedpur village in Bengal’s Malda district with sharp weapon and set ablaze his body at Rajsamand near Udaipur.

The murder was captured on video allegedly by Regar’s nephew who was then around 15 years old. The teenager is currently lodged in a juvenile home in Udaipur and Regar is an undertrial prisoner in Jodhpur jail.

Earlier this month, Devdutta Maji, president of the Hindu group, Singha Bahini, visited Regar’s family at Rajsamand and gave a cheque for Rs one lakh to Sita Regar, wife of Shambhu Lal Regar.

Singha Bahini has also offered to help Regar’s nephew. On Friday, Maji wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chairpersons of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and National Commission for Scheduled Castes seeking the teenager’s release. The Regars belong to the Scheduled Caste category.

“I apprehend that this little boy is a victim of dirty politics and/or callousness of a section of the administration,” Maji wrote in his letters.

“We are allowed to see our son but we have no idea what the administration intends to do with him. He appeared for the class 10 board examination but till now the government has not released his result,” Sonia Regar, the boy’s mother, said from Rajmasand over phone on Saturday. “Our son is innocent,” she claimed.

Sonia Regar and her husband Prakash Regar met Maji in Udaipur on January 3 and sought his help. Sita Regar did not want to talk to the media.

“As Hindus, it is our duty to stand by this family. Shambhu Lal Regar is facing trial according to law but why is the teenager locked up for one year?” said Maji.

Singha Bahini was formed last year by eight former leaders of Hindu Samhati, the far-right organization that defended the two teenagers whose social media post triggered communal riots in the North 24 Parganas district in 2017.

These eight people, along with Tapan Ghosh, the Hindu Samhati founder, who often challenged Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), left the organisation in July 2017.

Last year, Singha Bahini became the only organisation in the country to raise money through crowd funding for Bengali Hindus in Assam after the first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) left out lakhs of them.

Interestingly, a lesser known political outfit, Uttar Pradesh Navnirman Sena, has said that it wants to field Shambhulal Regar as its candidate from Agra Lok Sabha seat this year. The Agra (reserved) Lok Sabha seat is presently represented by former union minister Ram Shankar Katheria who is also chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.

After Afrazul was killed, Regar was seen in the video ranting that he did it to ‘stop Love Jihad’, a term coined by the far-right to describe Muslim men luring Hindu women into marriage and then allegedly converting them to Islam.

A woman in Rajmasand, who treated Regar as her brother, had eloped with a Muslim man from Sayedpur in Malda in 2010. Regar visited Sayedpur in 2012 to bring her back but the woman returned on her own after two weeks.

First Published: Jan 13, 2019 07:43 IST