Independent Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani — who pledged support to the Congress last month — has tweeted a video of a Dalit man, whose murder has set off a political storm in Congress-ruled Rajasthan. The man was beaten to death allegedly for his love affair with a neighbour’s wife. The clip appears to be a part of a longer video, allegedly shot and circulated by the accused after the murder, which evoked outrage in the state. In it, the man was being given water to drink and then repeatedly thrashed with sticks. The accused men have been arrested.
In the current 45-second clip, five men are seen surrounding a man lying on the ground — one man pinning him down and another holding his legs. The men are heard arguing over the alleged love affair and telling the victim to go live somewhere else.
“Extremely disturbing incident being reported from Rajasthan where a poor Dalit man was brutally murdered. A quick action must be taken and culprits be brought to book immediately. I request Rajasthan govt to take this on priority. This barbarism isnt allowed anywhere,” Mr Mevani posted along with the video.
Extremely disturbing incident being reported from Rajasthan where a poor Dalit man was brutally murdered. A quick action must be taken and culprits be brought to book immediately. I request Rajasthan govt to take this on priority. This barbarism isnt allowed anywhere. pic.twitter.com/2GRPrxwg2T
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) October 12, 2021
The state’s opposition BJP has compared the killing to the incident in Lakhimpur Kheri, where four farmers were run over during a protest, allegedly by the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, earlier this month. This has irked the Congress, which has been pushing for the minister’s resignation over the incident.
Hitting out at the BJP, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, “Such foolish people have become their (BJP) office-bearers, who don’t even have sense on how to react to an incident. Nobody has gone to the house of the dead. They are sitting here and want to remain in news”.
Mr Gehlot also said he condemns such incidents and the accused were arrested after his prompt action.
The man, Jagdish Meghwal, was beaten to death by a group of people in Hanumangarh’s Prempura village on October 7. The police had said it was over his alleged love affair with a neighbour’s wife.
A three-member BJP team that met his family, however, said according to them, he was not in an illicit relationship and the murder was over a financial dispute, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
“Collector and SP of Hanumangarh have misled people on the motive (behind the killing) and action should be taken against them,” party MLA Madan Dilawar, who led the team, was quoted as saying by PTI.