New Delhi: On Thursday, March 2, chief minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot made a trip to Ghatmeeka village and met the families of Junaid and Nasir, two men allegedly burnt alive by self-proclaimed cow vigilantes on the Rajasthan-Haryana border. During his visit, Gehlot announced a relief package of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of each victim. He later tweeted about his visited and the compensation promised.
Speaking to The Wire, Nasir’s brother Hamid said that the chief minister assured them that his police force would soon apprehend all the accused involved in the case. Additionally, Gehlot said he is in continuous contact with Haryana’s chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, exploring every possibility to bring the accused to justice.
Since December 17, more than 20 people from the village have been sitting in protest outside the Ghatmeeka Eidgah, demanding justice Nasir and Junaid. During Gehlot’s visit, three of these protesters were reportedly detained by the police. One protester sitting at the Ghatmeeka Eidgah expressed disappointment, stating that they wanted to continue their peaceful protest.
Gehlot promised a government job to one member each from Junaid and Nasir’s families, starting on a contractual basis, with the possibility of becoming permanent after Holi, Hamid told The Wire.
When asked about the protesters who were accusing the Congress government of wanting to stop the protest, Nasir’s brother said that they too do not want the protest to continue. They believe that the state’s police force is doing its job, and protests could sidetrack them from the main goal of bringing the accused to justice. Ultimately, they seek justice for their loved ones and not just monetary compensation or job opportunities.
Nasir and Junaid were allegedly attacked and abducted by a mob that later set them ablaze, alive, while they were inside their car after accusations of cow smuggling were made against the victims. Both men were residents of Rajasthan’s Ghatmeeka village, in Bharatpur district.
A mahapanchayat by Hindu right groups was held in support of one of the accused, Monu Manesar, in Haryana.
There are four men – all allegedly members of the Bajrang Dal and self-proclaimed cow protectors – named in the police FIR. Only one of them, Rinku Saini, has been arrested so far.
The FIR has been filed under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 365 (abduction), 367 (kidnapping or abducting in order to subject a person to grievous hurt, slavery) and 368 (wrongful confinement). Locals have questioned why there are no murder charges mentioned.
Edited by Jahnavi Sen.