Rajasthan Killing: Victim’s Family Terms It Hate Crime Not ‘Love Jihad’; Demands Justice

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The video showed a man leading the victim identified as Ifrazul, to a spot and then attacking him with an axe from behind. — Video grab

My husband had been lured on the pretext of work. He was a nice man. He had no other wife other than me. The question of him marrying a Hindu lady doesn’t arise. These are just lies being used to justify his killing, said the wife of slain Muslim man.

Shabina Akhtar | Caravan Daily

RAJASMAND/MALDA — Fifty-year-old Ifrazul alias Bhuttu (Mohammed Bhatta Sheikh as the name being quoted in media) was hacked and burnt to death in Rajasmand area of Rajasthan. The blood curdling video which went viral on social media, after the assailant posted the video declaring that he would be doing the same to any person who gets involved in love-jihad, a term coined by right-wing leaders, for marriages, where a Hindu girl marries a Muslim man.

However, back in Malda’s Syedpur village, the hamlet from where Ifrazul hailed, his family members have refuted this angle. His wife, Gul Bahar bibi, said, “my husband had been lured on the pretext of work. He was a nice man. He had no other wife other than me. In Rajasthan, he used to stay with his sons in law, so the question of him marrying a Hindu lady doesn’t arise. These are just lies being used to justify his killing. But nothing can justify this gruesome act. We want justice.”

Another relative of the victim stated, “some activists and leaders have visited Gul bibi. But we want justice. We don’t want politicians to take advantage of the situation.” Another villager Muffaraz, said, “This is a planned political killing. Ifrazul was a middle aged man with grand children. We don’t believe the love-jihad angle. He had a wife here and in Rajasmand he was staying with his son in law and nephew. If he had married a Hindu lady, we would have known.” He added, “We are being targeted, for our Muslim identity, cow vigilantism and love-jihad are just excuses.”

We are being targeted, for our Muslim identity, cow vigilantism and love-jihad are just excuses.

The victim had been working in Rajasthan along with his family members as daily wage labour for the past 15 years. He used to travel to and from to his hometown, at least five times in a year. Last time that he left for Rajasthan was 10 days after Moharram. “I never thought that it would be the last time that I was seeing him alive,” wailed his wife.

Meanwhile Mosarraf, a relative of the victim, who used to stay in Rajasmand with him said, “He had called me and informed that he was going with a man, who had commissioned him some work. Later, we got to know that he had been killed by that man.” On being asked if Ifrazul had any relation with any Hindu woman, he said, “It’s a baseless allegation. He had only one wife, who is in Malda.”

With the news of Ifrazul’s death spreading, the Malda police has been been put on red alert. While Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal has condemned the killing.

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