By Khushboo Khan
New Delhi: The All India Lawyers Council (AILC) demanded a magisterial probe into the lynching of 23-year-old Rahul Khan allegedly by three of his friends in Palwal on 14 December, calling it the latest incident of a series of hate crimes witnessed in recent past.
An AILC delegation led by AILC secretary general adv Sharfuddin Ahmad visit to the house of the aggrieved family in Rasoolpur locality in the Palwal district on 22 December found “the imprint of the hate crime” the country has been witnessing for some years as the goons chanted communal slogans, shoot the videos of the gory incident and circulated them same on social media platforms.
“It was to make explicit the cause for the fatal assault. They themselves made the videos of their action that was leaked or broadcast on 16th of December in social media. A named FIR thereafter, was lodged by the father of the deceased,” said the lawyers body and demanded to know whether the offenders “are affiliated to any organisation to commit a pre-mediated murder”. It also sought to know whether the killing is caused to “execute an communal agenda by indoctrinated elements and the offenders are politically connected.”
The delegation, however, raised serious concern over the “silence of state government” in taking action on the complaint of the victim’s father and also sitting idle on the “aggressive attempt to make the victim an offender” by some people who allege that Khan was “caught stealing phone”.
“Like in past, a counter narrative is being aggressively propagated by projecting the victim as contributor to the offence,” it said, adding that in most of the targeted killing cases, the Hindutva goons start “spreading lies” as witnessed following lynching Dadri’s man Akhlaq Ahmed (beef keeper), Tabrez Ansari (motorcycle theft) and Pahlu Khan (animal smuggler) . In Rahul Khan case it is being propagated in social media that the was a drunkard and was involved in stealing mobile sets etc.
The victim, who was engaged in construction work, on the fateful night was persuaded by one Kaluwa, a friend for the last two years, to accompany him to meet some common friends. The victim’s wife Shahina Bano initially stopped him but let him go on Kaluwa’s insistence. The entire family had shifted to a newly-built house on13th December leaving behind Rahul Khan and his wife Shahina to join the family the next day.
“In the evening Kaluwa came to meet Rahul Khan and invited him to the outing. Khan is said to have declined that his wife was alone but Kaluwa persisted with Shahina to let Rahul Khan accompany him for 15 minutes only to meet some common friends. As it was the last day in the village, Shahina allowed Rahul Khan to leave with Kaluwa for a short while,” the family members told the visiting delegation of the AILC.
The local police were informed regarding the disappearance of Rahul Khan. Next day, the relatives came to know from Kaluwa that Rahul Khan was injured in a road accident. A cousin, Mohammad Yusuf rushed to house of Kaluwa who misbehaved and threatened Yusuf so later on more relatives rushed to the house of Kaluwa where Rahul Khan was found lying in a very bad shape without any clothes in a pool of blood, bearing grievous injuries on every organ of his body. He was shifted to the hospital by the local relatives in a semi-unconscious position. He could not sustain the injuries and died in the hospital.
A video clip was noticed on social media on 16th of December where three youths Om Pal alias Kaluwa, Vishal Balmiki and Akash Prajapati alias Diljale, all the residents of village Rasoolpur were seen causing grievous injuries repeatedly chanting with every stroke that hum Hindu hain aur tum Miyan.
The AILC said that one-week time has passed, but no proper investigation has been done so far as the eye witness of last seen, Shahina, the widow, has still not been approached by the Investigating Officer to record her statement under section 161 Cr.P.C.
“Neither any government official visited the bereaved family nor any ex-gratia financial aid is declared or provided by the government,” said the AILC in its finding report. It also said that no community organisation came to help the victim’s family so far. The old aged Chiddi Khan has lost the only bread earner of the family.
Father of the deceased Chiddi khan had retired in April from the post of Khalasi (dockyard worker) in the Indian Railways. A petty employee, he lived in a rental house in village Rasoolpur where his other in-laws were residing, and also because his work place was nearby. Craving to have his own family home ,after retirement, he spent all his post-retiral funds and savings to purchase a piece of land and to construct a house in village Sarai Khatila, at a distance of fifteen km from Rasoolpur.