In a horrific act of cruelty and cold blood, a labourer who hailed from West Bengal was slain with an axe and then burnt alive. The shocking incident was filmed in Rajnagar in Rajsamand district on Wednesday and shortly after, uploaded to social media.
The accused, Shambunath Raigar, was arrested in Rajasthan on Thursday for the violent act, after the video went viral.
The video displays Raigar raving about Muslims and “love jihad”, a term used to describe a marriage between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man with the intent of propagating Islam. Raigar bragged about the heinous murder and Hindu pride as reason enough to torture and then burn the pleading man alive. The accused was captured saying, “This is what will happen to you if you do ‘love jihad’ in our country.” He also detailed about thrashing his victim before killing him, and claimed his actions were an endeavour to save a girl from love jihad.
Many citizens across the Muslim and Hindu spectrums have displayed their shock and outrage at the barbaric act.
The victim has now been identified as Mohammed Bhatta Sheikh. The slain labourer who had lived in the area and worked near the city of Udaipur, had lived there for more than 10 years. His family have demanded the strictest punishments against the offender.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Rajasthan home minister Gulabchand Kataria also voiced their condemnation of the killing. According to Kataria, the investigation continues and is now in the hands of a special investigation team.
Mohammed Bhatta Sheikh was the sole bread winner for the family, who are at a loss as to why he was attacked and brutally murdered. One relative described the events of the killer as having known Sheikh, calling him on the pretext of giving him work before murdering him.
According to one relative, they don’t understand the real reason behind the brutal killing of the 48-year-old that has now left behind a distraught daughter and grandchildren, all searching for an answer.
The BJP government in Rajasthan, however, has been accused of turning a blind eye to atrocities and violent acts committed against Muslims in the state.
By the time police were informed of the crime, and the dog squad arrived on scene, the half-burnt body was barely recognizable. The victim’s motorbike, slippers, and the weapon used by the murderer were found at the crime scene.
The video shows the severely injured man begging for his life as kerosene oil is poured over his body. This came after he was attacked with a sharp-edged agricultural axe-like tool. The man was alive when his body was set on fire.
The brutality of the crime has left many shocked, with most of the community still coming to terms with the horrific murder.
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