207 Protestors Detained for Supporting Man Who Burnt Afrajul Alive
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code will continue to stay in effect for 24 hours more in Udaipur, police said on 14 December. Mobile internet services will remain suspended to maintain law and order in the region, following tensions over the murder of Mohammad Afrazul.
The orders came after some groups announced that they would take out processions in support of Shambhu Lal Raigar.
Police detained 207 people and cane-charged a mob for violating Section 144 and trying to take out a rally in support of Raigar.
Out of those detained, 153 were released and 53 people were sent to judicial custody. At least 30 policemen, including a few senior police officers, were injured in stone pelting by the mob, the SP said.
In the video that began doing the rounds on social media, Raigar can be seen brutally beating up Afrajul with an agricultural tool, before pouring kerosene on his limp body and setting it on fire.
Victim’s Mother Urges Punishment
Afrajul, a daily wage labourer from Malda who was working in Rajasthan, is survived by his mother, wife and three daughters.
The victim’s mother told ANI that she had spoken to her son in the morning on the day of the incident.
Accused Claimed He Murdered to Save Woman From “Love Jihad”, She Denies Link
After killing Afrajul, Raigar turns to the camera and says that all those who engage in “jihad” will meet the same fate. Some news reports quoted Raigar as saying that he had killed Afrajul over “love jihad” and that he had “rescued” a woman from him.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the woman – that Raigar referred to as a “Hindu sister who he had tried to save from love jihad” – has denied his claims.
“In 2010, I went to West Bengal with one Mohammed Bablu Sheikh who was a resident of Syedpur in Malda. We lived there for more than two years. I returned to Rajasthan in 2013 on my own. It’s a lie that Raigar brought me back,” she told The Indian Express.
“It’s absolutely wrong to say that he murdered Afrajul because of this incident in my life. Raigar knew Bengali contractors and labourers in Rajsamand because until establishing his marble business, he worked as a labourer,” the woman told the daily.
Shambhu Lal Raigar, a marble trader who lives in Rajasmand, allegedly has no links with any Hindu organisations. Raigar’s 15-year-old nephew, who is believed to have recorded the video, is also an accused in the murder.
Will Seek Death for the Accused: Rajasthan Police
The Rajasthan Police said on Thursday, 7 December, that they would seek the ‘death penalty’ for the accused who hacked and then burned the labourer to death. Terming the case the ‘rarest of rare’, the Director General of Police Om Prakash Galhotra said that the incident clearly appeared to be cold-blooded and premeditated.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Galhotra appealed to news channels and media to refrain from playing the video.
Manoj Kumar, SP of Rajsamand, said that a murder case has been registered under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
Ramsumer Meena, station house officer of Rajnagar police station, told The Indian Express, “The half-charred body was found near Rajsamand around 1 pm on Wednesday, 6 December, and the deceased was identified as Mohammad Afrazul. Later, a video of the murder went viral on social media.”
Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria announced that an SIT has been formed to probe the murder.
WB and Rajasthan Govt Offer Compensation to Victim’s Family
The Rajasthan government, on 9 December, announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the family of the deceased, ANI reported.
Condemning what she called an “inhuman” act, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also announced a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the victim’s family on 8 December. Banerjee spoke to the widow of the victim over the phone and said she would send a team of ministers and party MPs to the family in Malda district.
(With inputs from IANS, PTI)
(This is a developing story and will be updated)