Preliminary investigations have ruled out ‘love jihad’ behind the gruesome killing of a 48-year-old Muslim labourer in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district, police said today. Mohammand Afrazul from West Bengal was hacked and burnt to death in Rajsamand by Shabhu Lal Raigar, who was seen ranting against ‘love jihad’ in a video that was shot and uploaded on the internet by his minor nephew. Raigar was today sent to three days in police custody and his nephew to a juvenile home by a court in Rajsamand even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanded “exemplary action” against him for killing Afrazul. The Bengal government has announced Rs 3 lakh and a job to the labourer’s family.
“The accused, Shabhu Lal Raigar, said that he committed the crime over ‘love jihad’, but it has not been established so far that any such theory was behind the killing of the labourer,” Inspector General of Police, Udaipur, Anand Srivastava said. The police is interrogating Raigar to ascertain the motive, the officer said. “Nothing conclusive can be said at the moment, but preliminary investigation suggest that there was nothing like ‘love jihad’. However, the matter is being thoroughly probed on all angles to find out the motive,” Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar said.
The video of the gruesome incident went viral on social media on Wednesday and a day later Raigar was arrested and his nephew detained. He is seen raving against ‘love jihad’, a term used by sections of Hindu activists to describe marriages between Hindu women and Muslim men. “Raigar was produced in the court of chief judicial magistrate of Rajsamand. The magistrate remanded him in police custody for three days. He will be produced in the court on December 10 again,” SHO Rajnagar Ramsumer Meena said. His minor nephew was sent to a juvenile home by the court, he said.
Meanwhile in Kolkata, Banerjee asked the West Bengal director general of police to speak to his Rajasthan counterpart and ensure security to nearly 3,500 labourers from West Bengal working in that state. “This is a very sad incident… Cannot even think of this. There must be strong and exemplary action against those responsible for the heinous crime,” Banerjee said. Senior TMC leaders, including ministers Firad Hakim and Suvendu Adhikary, and party MPs are slated to go to Malda district tomorrow to visit the labourer’s family, who have described Afrazul as their sole earning member and demanded strict action against Raigar.