A 29-year-old man from the Scheduled Caste (SC) community was allegedly beaten to death in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district over what the police believe was an affair with wife of one of the accused.
The main accused in the case has been arrested and four other accused rounded up, Hanumangarh police tweeted on Saturday night. According to police, preliminary investigation suggests the accused had videographed the assault on the victim, Jagdish Meghwal, 29, which is being circulated widely on social media.
The FIR, registered on the complaint of Meghwal’s father Banwari Lal, stated that the accused had dumped the body outside the family’s home, in Hanumangarh’s Prempura village, on Thursday. The FIR names 11 people, including the woman with whom the police believe he allegedly had an affair, as accused in the case.
On Thursday, the FIR stated, the accused followed Meghwal to Suratgarh, in neighbouring Ganganagar district, where he had gone on an errand, and abducted him on his way back. They allegedly beat him to death, according to the complaint.
Inder Kumar, SHO, Pilibanga police station in Hanumangarh, said: “Prima facie, the motive appears to be an affair between Meghwal and the wife of one of the accused…. On October 7, the accused, including relatives of the husband, spotted Meghwal, and after assaulting him left him near his home.”
The accused are from Odh Rajput community, who come under the OBC category, the SHO said. “Meghwal’s family has named the woman as one of the accused. Her husband, Mukesh, and other relatives are accused in the case. We have detained three people and investigation is under way,” he said. Both families live in Prempura village, police said.
Banwari Lal said, “The accused had threatened my son a few days ago.” The FIR has been registered under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent to confine person), 147 (punishment for rioting), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), along with Sections of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
As the news emerged, opposition BJP slammed the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress state government.
BJP state president Satish Poonia tweeted: “The state has now come into the category of top states in terms of atrocities on Dalits. The incident in Pilibanga’s Prempura is reflective of this. Ashok Gehlot ji, stop this drama of being protectors of Dalits in other states. Priyanka Gandhi ji, Rahul Gandhi ji, do come here sometimes as well to wipe the tears of Dalits.”