Killed Afrazul by mistake, somebody else was target: Rajsamand’s Shambhu Lal Regar to police
Shambhu Lal Regar wanted to kill another man but ended up hacking to death a 48-year-old migrant labourer in Rajsamand on December 6, police said on Monday.
The murder sparked nationwide outrage and stirred communal tension in several areas of Rajasthan after Regar uploaded a video of the gruesome crime on the social media and several other clips in which he made inflammatory religious remarks.
During grilling, Shambhul told police that labourer Mohammed Afrazul, a resident of West Bengal’s Malda, was not his target.
“He wanted to kill one Ajju Sheikh because he was in contact with a girl whom Shambhu regarded as his sister. But we suspect Shambhu had an affair with her,” said Rajendra Singh Rao, police circle officer of Rajsamand.
Ajju, too, was a labourer like Afrazul from Malda and used to work in Rajsamand. Shambhu had only spoken to Ajju on phone and did not recognise him, the police officer said.
Having resolved to kill him, Shambhu went to a market at Jhalchakki and enquired about Ajju. When he couldn’t find Ajju, he asked one labourer for his mobile number.
“Either the labourer misheard Shambhu, or he thought that since Shambhu needs to get some work done, why not help Afrazul, probably his acquaintance, get some work. He then gave Afrazul’s number to Shambhu,” Rao said.
Shambhu called Afrazul on December 5 and did not bother to confirm his identity as he found his voice similar to that of Ajju.
“That day Afrazul was in Nathdwara. On December 6, he called Afrazul at 9 am again and asked him to come as he wanted a boundary wall of a plot constructed,” the police officer said.
At around 10:30 am he had tea with Afrazul at a teashop about a kilometre from the spot where Afrazul was killed.
His presence secured, police said, Shambhu then left for his home from where he got the pickaxe and other tools with which he hacked Afrazul. He also got his nephew with him this time to record the act on camera.
The girl supposedly at the centre of the hate crime lives in Regar Mohalla, the same locality as Shambhu’s. Shambhu said in one of the videos that he considered the girl as sister, but according to some accounts he had a love affair with the girl.
The girl had allegedly eloped with a migrant labourer Mohammed Bablu Sheikh to Malda in 2010. Her mother and uncle went to Malda and brought her back from the place but she was taken to Malda again after a couple of months, allegedly by Ajju.
“It was Ajju who took her back, Shambhu said, and when he called the girl after that incident, Ajju took the phone from her and the two men had a brawl,” Rao said.
In 2012, when the girl’s mother was lamenting that there was no one to bring her girl back, Shambhu volunteered to bring the girl back from Malda.
“He came to take me back but I told him to go back. I returned on my own, about 15 days after his visit. Despite that he took ₹10,000 from my mother for ‘rescuing’ me,” the girl earlier told HT.
Ajju had visited Beawar in Ajmer 4-5 months ago and met the girl then, police said.
Shambhu learnt about their meeting and was apprehensive that he might take the girl back again and therefore resolved to kill him, police officer Rao said.
Besides, Rao said Shambhu got indoctrinated through hate videos on internet and used to spend hours watching videos on both Hindu and Muslim extremism.
“Revenge from Ajju was his motive, fuelled by his hatred towards Muslims. Shambhu kept saying that Muslims were wrecking the country and that Hindus should awaken,” Rao said.