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People Flee Rajasthan Village After Singer Killed in Argument with Priest

Folk singer Ahmad Khan was a member of the Langa Manganiyar community that has been singing Hindu religious songs and spiritual verses in temples and at festivals for generations.

Reuters

Updated:October 11, 2017, 1:42 PM IST
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People Flee Rajasthan Village After Singer Killed in Argument with Priest
Trouble erupted in Dantal village on September 27, when a Hindu priest accused folk singer Ahmad Khan of making mistakes while reciting hymns to evoke a goddess.(TV Grab)
New Delhi: At least 200 Muslims have fled their village in Rajasthan after a Hindu priest and his friends allegedly killed a Muslim folk singer late last month, police said on Wednesday.

Trouble erupted in Dantal village on September 27, when a Hindu priest accused folk singer Ahmad Khan of making mistakes while reciting hymns to evoke a goddess.

Khan, 45, was a member of the Langa Manganiyar community that has been singing Hindu religious songs and spiritual verses in temples and at festivals for generations. The priest suggested changes to the hymn, leading to an argument.

Police said the priest, Ramesh Suthar, and his friends then broke Khan's musical instruments and killed him.

"The news of the murder triggered unrest between Hindus and Muslims who have been living together for generations," said Gaurav Yadav, a senior police officer.

He did not say how Khan was killed, but said Suthar had been arrested. The priest's accomplices had fled, Yadav said.
Two of Suthar's family members said he was in shock and refused to talk about the case.

Paramilitary forces to the area but the Muslims, fearing clashes, refused to return home.
"For one small mistake my brother was killed," said Rakha Khan, the dead singer's cousin. "We can't live in the same village ever again."

Rakha Khan said they had sought refuge in a school and that the state government office and other local authorities were providing them with food.
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