A middle aged Muslim daily wager was hacked to death with an axe and set on fire in Rajasthan on Wednesday- all for saving Hindu women from love jihad and the brutal act was filmed and spread through the social media.
This extremely heinous act is the latest sign of the direction where the country is heading under the leadership of hardline Hindu nationalists. Mohammad Afrazul, 45, a daily wage labourer hailing from West Bengal and who has been residing in Rajasthan for the past several years, was brutally hacked to death and set on fire during broad daylight in the name of love jihad.
The whole act was recorded as a video and was posted on Whatsapp. Besides uploading the video, ShambhuLal who committed the murder, also recorded himself mouthing hate speech with saffron flag in the background. He declared that he committed the crime to save Hindu women from love jihad. He slams movies such as Padmavati and PK citing that they promoted love jihad. ‘It has been 25 years since the Babri Masjid was demolished. Has any thing happened because of that? This is the only way that has to be chosen to fight the jihadis. The people who follow the ideology of Islam and those clad in black attire seen outside the masjids and in the streets are a threat to our cultural heritage. We should fight against Islamic jihad the same way Maharaja Pratap Singh fought. That is the reason why I did it. I will have to die one day. If I have to die, I will kill some and die. I am going to say all this at the Mahadeva temple in Rajsamand. All the brothers and sisters in Mewar must support me’. So goes ShambhuLal’s speech.
The assassin of Afrasul has himself appeared before the camera and declared himself to be the culprit. So, there was no other course left than to arrest him. Had it not been so, the SanghParivar network would have spread fake stories about this killing as well. When Junaid from Haryana was lynched aboard a train, they had propagated the killing as one following a dispute regarding a seat on the train. And now the Sanghparivar followers are still publicising the act of ShambhuLal as a great act. One wonders where these people with a brutal mentality are taking the country. It is high time that those with faith in democracy and humanitarian values shed their lethargy and came into action.
The murder of Mohammed Afrazul is not the first of its kind. In Rajasthan alone over the last nine months, four Muslims have been killed in similar manner for different reasons. This is not a failure of the law and order machinery alone. On the other hand, death the of Afrazul is the collective outcome of a very despicable narrative created by administration, justice system including the police, media and to some extent, the law courts. The propaganda that a well-knit machinery led by Muslims is working to rope in Hindu women, was launched by the Sanghparivar, but was given currency by the mainstream media. And matters reached a stage when even those of the secular camp started lending support to that. Then chief minister of Kerala VS Achuthanandan made a statement as if to ratify the 'love-jihad' theory. It may be recalled that the controversial Hadiya case appeared in most of the national media under the caption 'Kerala Love-jihad case'. That way, the unfortunate Afrasul is a martyr of this tale that originated in Kerala and was adopted by northern India.