New Delhi: Shambhulal Regar, the man accused of hacking a Muslim man to death and burning his body on camera, was honoured during Ram Navami in Rajasthan.
A tableau honouring Regar was taken out in Jodhpur on March 25.
Photos of the tableau have gone viral on social media, showing a man dressed similarly to what Regar wore on the day he hacked Mohammad Afrazul, a Bengali migrant worker.
On the tableau, there was a poster saying “Hinduon bhaiyon Jaagon, apni behan beti bachao, love jihad se desh ko azad karana chahiye (Hindu brothers, wake up, save your sisters and daughters. The country should be free from love jihad).” Regar was addressed as ‘Shambhu Nath, love jihad mitane wala’ (Shambhu Nath, destroyer of lover jihad). The Indian Express reported.
“I just wanted to express my regard for Regar. His commitment towards Hinduism inspired me. There was no intention to hurt anybody’s sentiments,” Hari Singh Panwar, who organised the tableau and is the co-treasurer of Shiv Sena’s Jodhpur chapter, told the Hindustan Times.
Deputy commissioner of police (Jodhpur East) Amandeep Singh said on Tuesday they learnt about the tableau from media reports but had not received a complaint. “If we receive one, we’ll act accordingly,” Singh told Hindustan Times.
Meanwhile, the VHP claimed it had nothing to do with the tableau.
“The Ram Navami celebrations has being going on since the past 35 years and are organised under the banner of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. This year, around 2.5 lakh people participated in the celebrations and we generally ask the youth to take out tableaus on current affairs,” Mahendra Singh, VHP Jodhpur division joint secretary told the Indian Express.
“Of course, current affairs include subjects such as love jihad. But we had asked workers not to take out tableau about Regar but during the celebrations one such tableau was indeed taken out,” he added.
Afrazul was hacked to death and his body set on fire by Regar in Rajasthan Rajsamand district in December 2017. According to police, he lured Afrazul to the spot, promising some work, only to kill him brutally.
He got a friend along to record the video that shows the entire incident in vivid detail. Afrazul is seen pleading with his murderer and crying for help while the he keeps clobbering him with an axe and later burnt him alive.
Later, Regar also released two new incendiary videos from what appeared to be his cell in Jodhpur’s central prison. In it, he made a long-hate filled rant against Muslims, urging Hindus to unite against “jihadis”. Wearing a hoodie and reading the message from a paper, he made repeated references to Islamic terrorism, love jihad and counterfeit currency.