Vasundhara Raje hints Pratapgarh lynching wasn’t a murder, gets trolled
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Vasundhara Raje hints Pratapgarh lynching wasn’t a murder, gets trolled

Zafar Hussein, who protested against civic officials clicking photographs of some women defecating in the open at Jagwas Kachchi Basti in Pratapgarh was brutally beaten up resulting in his death.

jaipur Updated: Jun 19, 2017 08:02 IST
Manoj Ahuja
Manoj Ahuja
Hindustan Times
Pratapgarh lynching,Vasundhara Raje,ODF
Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje.(HT Photo)

Breaking her silence on the lynching of social activist Zafar Hussein in Pratapgarh on Friday, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Sunday tweeted that the “demise” was extremely unfortunate.

However, she also indicated that the death was not a murder by re-tweeting a tweet posted by inspector general (IG) Udaipur which said that scientific evidence did not point to a murder.

A group of government officials allegedly beat to death 55-year-old Zafar Hussein, a social activist and CPI-ML member, for trying to stop them from photographing women defecating in the open at Jagwas Kachchi Basti of Pratapgarh district on Friday.

Commenting on the incident, Raje tweeted, “the demise of Zafar Khan ji in Pratapgarh is extremely unfortunate. Investigation is on - justice shall prevail.”

Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot took a dig at the CM’s tweet by re-tweeting that “killed would have been a far more appropriate word, and going by previous lynching incidents, justice is unlikely to prevail.”

Senior journalist Shekhar Gupta also took a swipe at the CM tweeting, “when a lawfully elected chief minister, sworn to rule based on the Constitution, can’t call a murder a murder, it’s time to cry.”

Five municipal council officials – including the commissioner — were out on a morning round in a slum to photograph people defecating in the open when Zaffar objected, local residents said.

Police have registered a case of murder against the five officials. “We are investigating the case and no arrests have been made so far,” said Pratapgarh station house office Mangilal Bishnoi.

The Pratapgarh assembly seat is held by the BJP.

The Udaipur IG Twitter account has been created recently with the profile page noting that it was created in June 2017. Pratapgarh falls in Udaipur division.

Police haven’t arrested anyone for the alleged assault but have named four civic officials – including commissioner Ashok Jain – in the FIR.

Zafar, who ran a small grocery shop and worked for rights of labourers, had repeatedly petitioned the municipal councillor to release money for construction of toilets in the homes, the villagers said.

The photographing of people defecating in the open is part of the government’s Swachh Bharat scheme to shame and discourage public defecation. But many experts say such naming-and-shaming doesn’t work because poor and backward communities have scant access to functional toilets or funds to build their own facilities.

The incident in Pratapgarh – around 400 kilometres from state capital Jaipur – is the latest in a string of cases of lynching across India. In April, a Muslim dairy farmer was killed by alleged cow protection vigilantes while legally transporting cattle.

First Published: Jun 18, 2017 18:48 IST