Communalism

Rajasthan: Fourth Accused in Rakbar Khan Lynching Arrested

Khan was lynched by cow vigilantes in July last year in Lalawandi of Alwar, Rajasthan.

New Delhi: More than a year after Rakbar Khan was beaten to death in Alwar, the fourth accused in his death was arrested by Rajasthan police on Thursday morning.

According to Hindustan Times, 34-year-old VijayMurtikar, a resident of Lalawandi village of Alwar district, was arrested from Jaipur. “He had been absconding for the last one year,” said Alwar police superintendent Paris Deshmukh. The other three accused, Dharmendra Yadav, Naresh Singh and Paramjeet Singh, were arrested on July 21, 2018 – the same day that Khan was lynched. He was the third Muslim man to be lynched in the Alwar region during a 15-month period.

The chargesheet, submitted Septemeber last year, says 31-year-old Rakbar Khan and his friend Aslam Khan were intercepted in Lalawandi village by “gau rakshaks” who accused the duo of cow smuggling. While Aslam managed to escape, Rakbar was thrashed by the vigilantes, who were apparently affiliated to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

Also Read: Pehlu Khan Lynching Case: Six of Nine Accused Acquitted Over ‘Benefit of Doubt’

The VHP members claimed that Khan was handed over to the police and blamed his death on the police. Some local activists and community leaders said at the time that the reports of a delay in taking Rakbar to a hospital were manufactured to obfuscate the fact that Rakbar was lynched by the mob.

Later, speaking to The Tribune, Aslam Khan alleged that the attackers claimed to have the support of the local BJP MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja.

The Congress-ruled Rajasthan government in the recently concluded assembly session passed a law to prevent mob lynching (and another one to tackle “honour killing”). The law says in a person in killed in an incident of lynching, the convict shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for life with a fine not less than Rs 1 lakh, which may extend up to Rs 5 lakh. Those who take part in a conspiracy to lynch a person will also be prosecuted, the law says.

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