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Rajasthan Hate Crime: Afrazul's Murder on Babri Demolition Day Isn't Coincidence, Says Family

A video grab shows Shambhulal Regar beating up Afrazul. (Image: CNN-News18)

A video grab shows Shambhulal Regar beating up Afrazul. (Image: CNN-News18)

The victim's relatives allege that Afrazul, who was slain with an axe and then set on fire on 6 December last year, was killed by right wing group members to observe 'Shaurya Divas' that marked the 25th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya in 1992.

Kolkata: A month after Afrazul Khan, a migrant worker from Bengal's Malda, was killed in Rajasthan's Rajsamand district his family is alleging "a larger conspiracy" behind the murder.

The victim's relatives allege that Afrazul, who was slain with an axe and then set on fire on 6 December last year, was killed by right wing group members to observe 'Shaurya Divas' that marked the 25th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya in 1992.

The video of 50-year-old Afrazul's horrific murder, where the victim could be heard screaming for mercy, was recorded and posted on a social network website by a civil contractor Shambhulal Regar. Police later arrested the accused and filed a chargesheet.

Speaking to News18 from Sayedpur village in Malda, Afrazul's cousin, Nur Islam, said: "The accused Shambhulal Regar's allegation that he killed Afrazul for ‘love jihad’ is false and fabricated. He made the ‘love jihad’ excuse to gain the sympathy of right wing groups."

"After Afrazul was killed, we conducted our own inquiry through other migrant labourers from Malda who were in Rajsamand and came to know that it was an attempt to bring notice to the Babri Masjid demolition on 6 December. Regar’s mother is also a daily wage labourer and it is possible that someone approached him with money for the job. There are reports that a day after the killing there was a transaction in Regar’s bank account; the amount was a few lakh of rupees. We want to know who had deposited the amount in his account and why?" asked Nur Islam.

Asked about the girl from Regar's locality in Rajsamand who fled and married a Malda youth, Nur Islam said, "That is a separate case and has no relation with Afrazul. Regar is sensing that he could be behind jail for life for his crime and is trying to misguide the police with this 'love jihad' angle and is accusing Afrazul of helping the girl to flee home. This is completely false and I was told that even the Rajasthan police mentioned this in their charge-sheet."

Afrazul's wife Gulbahar Bibi is yet to recover from the shock and was unable to talk. Speaking about 'love jihad', on an earlier occasion, she had said, "This is a false and fabricated charge. My husband was never involved in any such case. He was working in Rajasthan for the past two decades and he never faced such problems before. This incident is a part of big conspiracy and I suspect influential people are behind this incident."

On the day Afrazul was murdered, he called his wife in the morning and asked her to withdraw money which he had deposited in her account in a bank in Malda. He also inquired about his daughters. That was the last time Gulbahar spoke to him.

Tafazzul Khan, Afrazul's brother, questioned why Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Union home minister Rajnath Singh kept mum about Regar's brutal crime.