Bhiwani killings: ‘Will not retreat until all accused arrested,’ say Rajasthan locals after admin serves notice

Thousands gathered in Firozpur Jhirka demanding arrest of Nasir and Junaid's murderers including Monu Manesar. | Picture by arrangement

In the notice dated February 23, protestors were ordered to be present at the court of the sub-divisional magistrate, Pahari on February 27 and inform why they should not be restrained for six months in order to maintain peace.

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Huneza Khan | 

JAIPUR (RAJASTHAN) — 12 persons who participated in a sit-in protest demanding justice for two Muslim youths Junaid and Nasir who were killed in Haryana last week over suspicion of cow smuggling, were served a show cause notice by the administration on Thursday.

A Sub Divisional Magistrate served the notice under section 107/116 of CrPC ordering the individuals to appear in Court on February 27 and explain why they should not be detained for six months in order to maintain peace.

Those who have been served a notice include Waseem Akram, a local journalist, and Mohammad Jabir, a cousin of the victims.

Two Muslim youth Nasir and Junaid from Rajasthan were brutally beaten and burnt alive in a car allegedly by self-proclaimed gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes). Their charred bodies were found on January 16 in Loharu village of Bhiwani district in Haryana a day after they had gone missing. The family members had alleged in the FIR that members of the Bajrang Dal were involved in the attack. The Rajasthan police have arrested one accused Rinku Saini in the case. The other eight accused have been identified but are absconding. One of the accused Monu Manesar’s name has been taken off the wanted list by the Rajasthan police.

Villagers demand justice
Demanding justice for the victims, locals from the victims’ village sat on a dharna (sit-in protest) at the graveyard in Ghatmika of Bharatpur on January 17, the day bodies of the two youth were buried.

Despite the notice, thousands of protestors on Friday hit the roads to demand the arrest of the accused who brutally beat Nasir and Junaid on suspicion of cow smuggling and allegedly burnt them alive.

“I want to tell the authorities that if they want to arrest anyone, they should detain Mohit alias Monu Manesar, under Section 302. He killed my brothers,” Mohammad Jabir said.

Wasim Akram, a journalist who received the show cause notice, told that “the local administration is working under government pressure.”

“I have been served with the show cause notice for covering the brutal incident,” he said.

Akram said it is a shame that the administration is yet to arrest the accused. “The protest led by locals is exposing the state government. A few protesters raised murdabad against the MLA which outraged her,” said Akram.

Akram accused Kaman MLA and minister Zahida Khan of pressuring the administration to forcefully suspend the protest.

He also raised concerns about the compensation process.

“The Rajasthan government gave compensation of Rs 50 lakh to Kanhaiyalal who was brutally murdered in Udaipur. In this case, the administration announced a Rs 20 lakh compensation. Are these not double standards?” Akram questioned.

He further said that the government is afraid of losing forthcoming elections in the state and wants to “suppress our voices by serving us notice to suspend the protests.”

“It is absolutely unfair,” he added.

Mohammad Chand, a protester who also got a show cause notice, told that “people from nearby areas are being prevented from joining the protest.”

“They are threatened with FIR by the supporters of MLA Zahida Khan if they join the protest,” Chand said.

“We will not retreat until our demands are fulfilled. Monu Manesar must be arrested and Nasir and Junaid’s family should receive equal compensation just like Kanhaiyalal,” he added.

Abdul Basit Mewati, who was also part of a sit-in protest in the Ghatmika village, said that they have been peacefully demanding the arrest of the accused.

“We have faith in the constitution but these governments are protecting the accused,” said Basit.

Basit accused the Rajasthan government of being biased.

“Muslim community unanimously condemned the brutal murder of Kanhaiyalal but these people are organizing Maha Panchayats in support of the accused. The administration is pressurizing us to wind up the protest but we will not take a step back,” he added.

Pahari sub-divisional officer Sunita Yadav told the Indian Express that the local police have taken the step to maintain law and order.

Huneza Khan is a journalist from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. She tweets @KhanHuneza