A Muslim labourer has been brutally murdered by a Hindu extremist in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan after he was accused of ‘love jihad’ — a term used by right wing groups which believe that Muslim men attempt to convert non-Muslim women after seducing them, media reports said.
The brutal nature of the man’s murder, and subsequent sharing of a video depicting the incident has led to a suspension of internet services in the town of Rajsamand to prevent further proliferation of the video. According to the state’s home minister, the alleged murderer, Shambhu Lal, has been arrested.
Police in the state have come across what they believe is the body of the victim depicted in the video, a 45-year-old named Mohammad Afrazul, a daily wager from West Bengal.
The victim can be seen following Shanbhu in one of the videos posted online. Police suspect he had been baited by being offered a job by the accused.
However, Shanbhu can be seen suddenly attacking Ifrazul as he screams and finally collapses. The culprit lights Ifrazul’s body on fire, but not before he launched a diatribe against what he termed ‘love jihad’.
“If I have to die, I will kill some and die,” he said while making additional references to the Babri Masjid dispute, controversy surrounding the Bollywood film Padmavati and the plot of another film, PK. He mentioned interfaith relationships and warned that he would “find each one of them and kill.” in comments covered by NDTV.
Police are on high alert across the district and believe a third individual may have been involved in the filming of the incident. Rajsamand is five hours away from state capital Jaipur.
Speaking on this issue, Home Minister Kataria stated: “It is shocking how he killed the man and made a video of it. The accused has been arrested and a special investigation team (SIT) has been set up… Any person will be disturbed by the video.” Opposition politicians were also quick to highlight what they claimed was misgovernance in the state.
“There is no fear of law here, no fear of police… there is no government,” said Congress leader Sachin Pilot, adding, “We must set an example where people must fear that there is a government that will set certain rules.”