Bengali Muslim workers have left Rajsamand out of fear after Mohd Afrajul’s murder: PUCL fact-finding report

By Staff Reporter

Shambhu Lal, the killer of Afrajul Islam, was allegedly disturbed after demonetisation event last year during which his business succumbed, stated PUCL in its fact-finding report conducted after a survey tour of three days. The Human rights’ organisation has also made it clear that the whole family of Shambhu believed either in rumours or the decade-old cases of alleged ‘Love Jihad’.

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“Bengali migrant workers have left Rajsamand out of fear. They lived in a Hindu’s house, who rejected the idea of society dividing the people in terms of Hindu Muslim,” says the fact-finding report of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).

A fact-finding team of PUCL, along with others, has been examining the Rajsamand horrifying incident, where Afrajul Islam – a 45-year-old migrant worker from West Bengal – was killed on December 6 in a ghastly manner by Shambhu Lal. “The later was a clone of the RSS hate factory and indulged in the gruesome hate crime,” said PUCL in its report.

According to the PUCL’s report, Bengali migrant workers are skilled in road construction works. Between 400 to 500 such workers work in a 100-kilometres radius. Afrajul was a labour contractor.

PUCL stated that Afrajul did not know Shambhu, according to the police and his relatives. He was perhaps called under the pretext of construction work at his plot. On his last day, Afrajul went at 8 am to Jal Chakki, where labours from West Bengal gather in a labour Mandi. They all met at 8 am and had their morning tea.

His last conversation was at 11.30 am with his son-in-law about some money had to be paid to the labour, it was the last time he rode his motorbike and reached the spot. It seems when Afrajul had reached the plot on Dev Heritage wedding lawn – perhaps the place where he was about to meet Shambhu – but Shambhu had already left the place.

After Afrajul left the place because of Shambhu was not present, he got a call from Shambhu within ten minutes that Shambhu had returned to the place. So Afrajul also came back, and then “we know what happened,” added PUCL in their report.

The police, which was informed of the emanating fumes, reached the place. The diary, the mobile phone, Aadhar card, were all partially or completely burnt down. The bike number ending with 786 got the police to call Rafique, the Muslim community leader in Rajnagar.

When Rafique reached the crime scene, he could not bear the horrible condition of the body. It later emerged from half of the name that was readable ‘…zul’, that the person was maybe a Bengali.

This led him to call all the numbers of Bengali workers from his contact list. By the time, several labours arrived and the body was identified by the Afrajul.

Soon, the video of the murder was put on the WhatsApp groups – the name of which is still not known – that day itself. This helped the police track Shambhu next morning in Kelwa, where he went to spend the night and took his daughter along. The police got him from Kelwa itself on the December 7, when he stepped out of his relative’s house to buy chips for his daughter.

PUCL team also met Shambhu’s siblings: Nirmal, a lab technician and his younger brother Lokesh who is in the furniture business, his sister Sonia, who used to be a caregiver in the social welfare department for special children and her husband. The sister’s 14-year-old son, who had dreams of joining the army, was made to film the entire gory incident of murder and setting the body on fire. He too was picked up by the police and sent to the observation home in Udaipur.

Lokesh said that it was difficult to speak about what happened. He claimed that the family was not connected to any outfit like Sangh, or VHP, but his brother – after he lost in business – got involved in watching videos. Lokesh claimed that Shambhu was very active on social media. Being asked about the motive behind the crime, Lokesh answered that he could not bear to see Muslim men trap Hindu women through love affairs.

Interestingly, Lokesh provided names of the three families in his locality whose girls were allegedly caught by Muslim men.

When PUCL counter-checked the Lokesh’s claims by visiting all the three families, it was found that all the three cases were 11 years, 9 years and 7 years old. PUCL claimed that those cases could not have precipitated this incident.

Sonia, the sister said that she did not go to meet her son as “a murder is a murder”. PUCL team reported that she was angry that her son had succumbed to her brother’s wishes. She, however, added that her brother’s anger was related to the incidents of Hindu girls being involved in love with Muslim men.

Sonia claimed that her brother lost out because of demonetisation, and so did her father. Shambhu had to close his new office in Udaipur, his business could not take off and went into debt, PUCL stated in its report.

PUCL has also stated that Shambhu’s other brother Nirmal has been shaken by what had happened that he has not gone to work since that day. Now, it is his responsibility of looking after Shambhu’s children.

The family of the accused has not yet hired a lawyer yet. But a couple of days back, Sameer Vyas, a lawyer from Jaipur, went to file a bail application for the juvenile. The lawyer said the application for the bail of Shambhu would be filed soon after charge sheet would be filed. The lawyer also handed over a cheque of INR 50,000 to the family of Shambhu.

The team of the PUCL-Udaipur, Bhilwara and Jaipur district, MKSS and members of the Rajsamand Mahila Manch went on the December 7, 10 and 11. The team was also joined by Harsh Mander and John Dayal.