Jaipur: A Kashmiri boy named Basit Khan alias Ghulam Mohiudin (18), working as a caterer in Jaipur’s Harmada area, died on February 6, a day after he was severely beaten up allegedly by his co-workers from Mumbai.
According to the Rajasthan police, Khan was returning home at around 2 am on February 5, when he got involved in a scuffle with his colleagues in a pick-up van over a trivial matter.
“The boys assaulted each other with a slap, but Khan got hurt badly. He succumbed to injuries a day later,” Ramesh Siani, station house officer at the Harmada police station in Jaipur, told The Wire.
The police has registered an FIR under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and one person named Aditya (20) has been arrested.
Khan was from Kunan-Poshpura in Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Speaking to The Wire, Aadil Ahmad, Khan’s friend in Jaipur, said, “On February 5, we were working in the Jaipur Bag marriage garden. Khan, along with seven others, had just finished their duty and left for home. While on their way, about five-six co-workers from Mumbai brutally assaulted Khan.”
According to Ahmad, Khan was already dead when he was taken to SMS hospital in Jaipur.
“He didn’t show any sign of life, but the doctors said they would operate on him. Later, they said he had gone into a coma,” he added.
Ahmad said the co-worker arrested by the Rajasthan police was cordial with them even minutes before he attacked Khan.
“While leaving the garden, Aditya hugged each one of us and greeted us in Kashmiri. We don’t really understand what happened to him minutes later,” Ahmad told The Wire.
Ahmad also alleged that when they went to register an FIR, their coordinator Maslu from Mumbai threatened them with similar consequences.
Khan is survived by his mother and two sisters. His father passed away two years ago.
Meanwhile, the state police has said that this is not a hate crime as the assailants were Khan’s co-workers.
Kashmir Police also issued a press release stating, “It is clarified that the death of one individual identified as Basit Khan alias Ghulam Mohiudin of Kupwara happened after a scuffle with a co-worker. He was taken to hospital where he succumbed. The reportage circulating around his death due to lynching during the group clashes is factually incorrect and is strongly rebutted.”
This is third incident of violence against Kashmiri students reported in Rajasthan in the past few months.
Earlier, in November, four Kashmiri students were beaten up by fellow students at Mewar University in Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh over the issue of a gate pass that was given to a Kashmiri student and denied to a student from Bihar.
In September last year, a 23-year-old student from Kashmir was tied to a pole after having been made to wear women’s clothes and thrashed by some men in the open market in Neemrana.