Pratapgarh: “Maaro isey, bahut neta banta hai ye (Kill him, he poses as leader)”, ward commissioner of Kachchi Basti area, Pratapgarh Ashok Jain allegedly told to Pratapgarh Municipal team, and they went berserk on Zafar Khan, a social activist. They did not stop till the activist’s lynching get done.
Brother of Zafar, Noor Mohammad told eNewsroom and added, “The only crime of my brother was that he had stopped Municipal officials clicking pictures of family women and others from defecating in open.”
The 55-year-old Zafar, had recently written to local administration on the issue of municipal officials photographing women defecating in the open. He was also a district committee member of CPI-ML and member of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC).
“Zafar was socially very active. He had written to administration, requesting them to have toilets built in our area as soon as possible. In his letter to Municipal officials, he had accused them of harassing women defecating in the open, without having provided them with toilets in the kachchi basti (slum) area,” said Nadeem Ansari, an acquitance of Zafar.
However, with the deadline approaching for officials associated with SBA, they paid no need to his request. “On Friday, around 7 in the morning, Zafar stopped nine officials, including the ward commissioner Ashok Jain from photographing defecating women. He was beaten to death on the spot,” he added.
Zafar is survived by two daughters and wife. The elder daughter is married now and younger one is minor. Sabra, 14-year-old and her mother Rashida was among the ladies who were out for defecation and before them, Zafar was beaten to death.
Zafar’s lynching is the second lynching case in Rajasthan, after Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old dairy owner. Khan had been lynched by gau rakshaks on grounds of cow trafficking in Alwar.
Post Zafar’s lynching, people of the slum area blocked the road and did not allow the administrative officials to conduct the autopsy of the deceased’s body. The protestors were demanding the arrest of the officials, including the ward commissioner. The officials, however, agreed to pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh and a contract job to the next of kin. Zafar’s wife has refused to accept the compensation and job as well, is demanding for the arrest of the accused.
During the blockade Prataphgarh police claimed that they have the four accused barring the ward commissioner, in their custody, but even after 36 hours of lynching no one has been arrested.
Ironically, even being witness to the crime, Superintendent of Police, Pratapgarh, Shivraj Meena claimed that they are not sure that death took place because of beating and waiting for autopsy report.
The SP only accepted that they have received a complaint from the brother of Zafar.
Mahendra Choudhary, state secretary of CPI-ML in an statement said that Zafar had written to administration to provide toilets in Kachchi Basti as woman of kachchi Basti, a 250 household, have to face harassment from municipal officials.