Support Pours in for Rajasthan Hate-Crime Victim Afrazul Khan’s Family

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Protests were held in cities across Rajasthan and West Bengal after the brutal killing of a Muslim Labourer from West Bengal in Rajasthan. — Image credit: Kavita Srivastava

Crowdfunding platform raises financial support for the family of Afrazul Khan, Bengal labourer hacked to death last week in Rajasthan

Shabina Akhtar | Caravan News

KOLKATA — Bengal labourer Afrazul Khan’s chilling killing and burning in Rajasthan last week shocked India. The act of hacking the victim with axe and machete and setting him ablaze made many hang their heads in shame. Protests and posts began to pour in. But this time around people began networking to trace the victim’s family and extend it the much-needed help.

“When I came to know about this gruesome murder, I was shocked. I felt helpless. The government has been failing us. One after another, people from a certain community are being targetted. Police remains a mute spectator; investigating agencies are a toothless tiger. These killings are more like state-sponsored terror. Donating a little bit of what I have saved to the family felt right and hence I am doing it,” said a donor, who didn’t want to be named.

Reporters, who first managed to reach out to the victim’s family, were contacted by several individuals seeking to help. “The response has been phenomenal. It’s just two days since we began campaigning for India’s Shame: Campaign for Relief and Justice for victims of hate, and we have collected about INR 300000. This twice the amount we collected for Jignesh Mevani’s campaign in the same time span,” says Bilal Ziadi, founder and community coordinator of Crowdnewsing, an online platform that is hosting the campaign.

More than money, the family will need help to fight the legal battle to get justice. No money can compensate for their loss. We will have to force the judiciary deliver justice. Money is just a temporary balm

It’s not the just through digital platform that people are reaching out to the aggrieved family. “I have been receiving many calls from people seeking the bank details of Gulbahar bibi, wife of Afrazul. It’s really overwhelming to see so many Indians reaching out to help her,” said Samirul Islam, a Kolkata-based social activist, who has been in constant touch with Afrazul’s family. However, he adds, “More than money, the family will need help to fight the legal battle to get justice. No money can compensate for their loss. We will have to force the judiciary deliver justice. Money is just a temporary balm.”

Mohammad Afrajul’s family has demanded that his killer be hanged.

Explaining the need to crowdfund, Zaidai says, “We were shocked when we heard that Junaid’s father was struggling to get adequate legal help. As an organizer for the Not in My Name protests, I felt no amount of protests can be fruitful if you can’t even create a pool of legal resources that are at the disposal of those fighting these hate-crime cases,” says Bilal Zaidi, the founder of CrowdNewsing, the online platform that is hosting the campaign.

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The crowdfunding campaign led by led by him aims at collecting INR 1000000 for the family, has been getting a huge support on social media. The online crowdfunding campaign has been shared around 2,000 times on Facebook.

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