Freshly Brewed

How Rs 275000 was collected in three days for Shambhu Lal Regar?

Rajsamand/Kolkata: Five hundred and sixteen Indians within three days had donated around Rs 275000 in three days in the account of Seeta Regar of Rajsamand. Getting tip off on this sudden donation being made in Seeta’s account has forced the Rajasthan to freeze her account for the time being. Thereby, upsetting the initiative of several new-found well wishers of Shambhu Lal Regar aka Shambhu Bhawani the new Citizen Kane of India.

Shambu, a smalltime businessman from Rajsamand, who had to wrap up his business post demonitisation made it to the headlines after he shared a video of him murdering a Bengali Muslim labour contractor in the most gruesome way. The video recorded by his 14-year-old nephew, shocked India with his cruelty and hate dialogue, through which he tried justifying his act.

Facebook, the new crowd funding platform

Shambhu, who is at present in police custody, has become the hero of a sizeable population of Indian Hindu, who are seen plastering Facebook pages with slogans like ‘Jaag utha Shambhu” “Jai Shambhu Jai Mahakal”. So, when a series of protests were being organized across India to condemn the dastardly murder, a bunch of Right Wing foot soldiers were busy consolidating their army to support Shambhu and his family fight the legal battle.

The Hindu fanatics were seen openly seeking support on Facebook groups. Posts like, “Bhabhi ji se mile hai. Agar aap chahey to Shambhu ji ki family ki madad kar saktey hai. Yeh raha bhabhi ji ka Union Bank account number (Met bhabhi ji, if you want to help Shambhu ji then this is her account number).” Many urged the Hindu society to donate anything between Rs 10 to any maximum amount that they could afford to help support the family of the accused.

These posts almost went viral, with around 516 people openly donating and sharing transaction details on Facebook and Twitter. “These posts went viral and hence came to our notice. Thereby, forcing us to free Seeta Regar’s account,” informed Anand Srivastava, IG, Udaipur Range.

Not just the masses

Breaking the myth that it’s the rural India which is communal and in ways supporting hate crime in India was Vargab Pathak, an associate consultant with one of India’s leading IT service, Consultancy and Digital solution provider. Currently based in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, has initiated a crowd funding campaign on GoFundMe, a crowd funding platform. He posted about the same on Pashchimbanga Shonkhaloghu Hindu (West Bengal Minority Hindu), a Facebook group, seeking support. He posted on the page, “Hi everyone, please click here to support my GoFundMe campaign, Save the Brave: Shambhu Bhawani.” The campaign, however, has attracted only two likes in the group and is yet to witness any amount being funded to cause of collecting 10,000 pounds for the murderer’s family.

Call for free legal aid

In a country, where Junaid’s (the teenage boy who was stabbed to death in a Haryana bound train) is finding it difficult to arrange funds to seek justice, every attempt is being made to make legal aid available to the accused, who is still in police custody. A Facebook post, asking people in Rajsamand contact a certain Sushil Jain of Indore, to make free legal help available to Shambu. The post which was shared by one Ojal Suthar read, “Main Sushil Jain, Indore, is Hindu veer Bhambhu ji ke court case anewale kharch ki sampoorn jawabdati lene ke liye tayyar hoon (I, Sushil Jain of Indore am ready to completely bear the cost for legal help offered to Hindi valiant Shambhu ji).” However, attempts made to contact Jain on the number shared on the post, failed as the phone was switched off.

Also, the lawyer Sameer Vyas, who had travelled to Rajsamand for the juvenile’s bail instead of charging a fee paid, handed over a cheque of Rs 50,000 to his family. “The family of the accused had not yet hired a lawyer they said. But today morning we did see a lawyer from Jaipur, Sameer Vyas, who had come to file a bail application for the juvenile. He said that the bail of Shambhu would be filed soon after charge sheet would be filed and that would be filed soon as the evidence gathering stage was almost over. He also handed over a cheque of Rs 50,000 to the family,” stated a report filed by PUCL’s fact finding team which had reached Rajsamand with social activists like Harsh Mandar and John Dayal.

Account freeze triggers anger

What could be called shocking was a series of tweets which were vindictive and threatening in nature, made to the Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje. Those wanting to raise the fund, felt let down by the government’s move to freeze the account. A tweet read, “@VasundharaBJP u blocked seta regar a/C. Don’t worry Hindu will teach u lesion in coming election mulli rani (sic).” Several such tweets were all over Twitter criticizing the government for having frozen the account.”

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