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Dalit Youth Killed in Rajasthan for His 'Good Looks,' Say Kin; Cops Cite Rivalry

The suspects, Suraj and Ramesh Singh, were arrested by the police in Barmer district's Dudwa village on Thursday.

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Jitendrapal Meghwal, a COVID-19 health assistant living in Barwa village in Rajasthan's Pali district, was killed on Tuesday, 15 March, allegedly because he had "good looks and a personality," said his family.

The suspects, Suraj Singh and Ramesh Singh, were arrested by the police in Barmer district's Dudwa village on Thursday.

Jitendrapal had uploaded several of his photos on social media under the account under the name 'kunwar saa jeet', according to the police. His mustache featured prominently in his posts. His tag line was, "I am not rich, but I am royal at heart."

His brother, Omprakash, said that the accused, Suraj Singh, who called himself king of Godwad on Instagram, had attacked Pal in 2020 as well, over a minor issue. The villagers were aware that Singh was jealous of his brother's "good looks and personality," he said.

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How the Incident Unfolded

According to the case registered with the police, Jitendrapal was going from Bali to Barwa on Tuesday along with his friend Harish Kumar. Jitendrapal was sitting behind Kumar on a motorcycle.

Two kilometers away from Bali, two youths on a bike told them to stop. When Harish slowed down, one of the men stabbed Jitendrapal in the back. Injured, he fell down and was stabbed another four times in his stomach and chest. He died before reaching the hospital.

Bali SHO Devendra Singh said that there was an old feud between the two and they had fought in the past.

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'Murder Not Related to the Victim's Attire, Looks': Police

Rajasthan Police, however, has said that the murder was not related to the Dalit victim's attire or the fact that he kept a mustache. "The murder was the result of a mutual rivalry related to a case registered in 2020," it said on Twitter.

Jitendrapal's family members had arranged a protest after the alleged murder. After being persuaded by the police and administration, they agreed to a post-mortem on Friday.

The administration has assured a government job to the brother of the victim and Rs 50 lakh in compensation to his family. It has also promised to present the demand of a permanent police chowki in Barwa village to the chief minister.

Bali MLA Pushpendra Singh Ranawat and Marwar Junction MLA Khushveer Singh Jojawar raised the matter in the Rajasthan Assembly. They talked about providing financial assistance and government jobs to the family members and arresting the accused at the earliest.

(With inputs from Pankaj Soni.)

(First published on Quint Hindi.)

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Topics:  Rajasthan   Dalit   Bali 

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