JAIPUR – The Rajasthan Police have given a clean chit to the officials of a municipality in Pratapgarh district who were accused of assaulting 53-year-old social activist Zafar Hussain leading to his death in June last year.
The officials on Swacch Bharat patrolling in the morning of 16th June 2017 had allegedly assaulted Hussain when he objected to them taking pictures of women defecating in the open. The incident had occurred at Mehtab Shah Kutchi Basti in Pratapgarh of Rajasthan. However, the local police and the state BJP government had denied the charge of lynching and said Hussain died of heart attack.
In their final report submitted to a local court, Pratapgarh police have reportedly stated that they have not framed any charge against the four civic officials involved in the scuffle against whom an FIR under IPC Section 302 (murder) had been registered hours after the death of Zafar Hussain.
Hussain’s family members had lodged the case against the then municipal council commissioner Ashok Jain and employees Kamal Harijan, Ritesh Harijan and Manish Harijan.
“A final report has been submitted to the court in the case and it has been concluded in the investigation that Hussain died of heart attack,” Babulal Murariya, station house officer, Pratapgarh, and investigating officer in the case has been quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
The Police submitted the final report at the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pratapgarh, on 4th September.
The accused civic officials had also lodged an FIR against Hussain, a member of the CPI (ML), under IPC Sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty).
In the last four years, since the BJP came to power at the centre, there has been steep rise in incidents of lynching and mob violence in the name of cow and beef. Dozens of people, mostly Muslims, have been killed in BJP-ruled states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam.
The Rajasthan has earned notoriety for mob violence as several such incidents have been reported from the state. In its Alwar district alone, at least three incidents of mob lynching have happened in the name of cow, resulting in the death of three dairy farmers. The first one that hit the national and international headlines was the case of Pehlu Khan, 55, who was lynched by a brutal mob of cow vigilantes in the broad daylight on 1st April 2017.
In the Pehlu Khan case also, the state police have cleared the main accused who names were mentioned by Khan in his dying statement.