Rajasthan murder caught on video: CM Raje, home minister should quit, say rights groups

Afrazul, a labourer from West Bengal, is seen being stabbed and burnt by a man in a video that has gone viral on social media. The attacker was arrested on Thursday.
The clips, circulated on WhatsApp, emerged from the western state’s Rajsamand district on Wednesday, police said.(Video grab)
The clips, circulated on WhatsApp, emerged from the western state’s Rajsamand district on Wednesday, police said.(Video grab)
Published on Dec 07, 2017 05:40 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Jaipur | By

Several rights groups demanded on Thursday the resignation of Rajasthan chief minister and home minister for failing to prevent a series of hate crimes targeting Muslims, including the murder of a migrant labourer in the state’s Rajsamand district.

In a joint statement, the organisations said chief minister Vasundhara Raje and her home minister Gulab Chand Kataria were allegedly giving impunity to the accused of targeted attacks on Muslims.

The organisations which issued the statement include the Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, National Federation of Indian Women, All India Democratic Women’s Association and National Muslim Women Welfare Society.

Over the past one year, Rajasthan has seen several fatal attacks on Muslims including the lynching of a cattle trader Pehlu Khan in April by self-styled cow protection group members, an incident which had sparked nation-wide outrage.

The killing of 48-year-old West Bengal migrant Mohammed Afrazul in Rajsamand on the 25th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition is the latest hate crime against Muslims in Rajasthan, the statement said.

The accused, an unemployed man identified as Shambhu Lal Regar, is seen in a series of video clips purportedly hitting and stabbing the man, burning the body and warning “jihadis” to leave India or meet a similar fate. Regar and his nephew who shot the video have beed arrested.

“Although the police have arrested the murderer Shambhu Lal Regar and the nephew who had shot the video, but it is important to reach the people who motivated him to carry out this murder,” it read.

The statement said this was the fourth killing in last nine months which showed absolute impunity to the killers of Muslims.

“We would also like to state that there have been many incidents where Muslims have been attacked as part of hate crimes and not been killed so the number of incidents are huge,” the statement said.

Besides the killing of Pehlu Khan, the statement also mentioned the lynching of Zafar Khan in Pratapgarh by municipality chairperson and sanitary staff on June 16 and murder of Umar Mohammad by alleged gau rakshaks on November 10 in Alwar.

The BJP which is in power with 160 MLA out of 200 needs to stop giving protection to these killers, the statement added.

Raje has been accused by opposition and critics of not condemning such attacks, a charge she has denied.

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