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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Rajasthan: In village where Afrazul Khan was killed, houses empty out

“I will get the death certificate from the authorities in the next couple of days and then I will head back to Saiyadpur in Malda,” says Inaul.

Written by Deep Mukherjee |
Updated: December 17, 2017 12:29:05 pm
Rajasthan, Rajasthan killing, Afrazul Khan, Afrazul Khan murder, Rajsamand killing, rajasthan labourers, Afrazul Khan village At Baluachara village in Malda. While most of the male members work outside Bengal, the women stay back, rolling and binding beedis and working as farm hands. (Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta)

Soon, Mohammed Inaul will go home. Most of his friends have left Rajasthan and the only thing that keeps the 34-year-old in Rajsamand is his uncle Afrazul Khan’s death certificate. Khan was hacked to death on December 6, with the alleged assailant Shambhulal Regar filming the murder and later go on a long, anti-Islam diatribe.

“I will get the death certificate from the authorities in the next couple of days and then I will head back to Saiyadpur in Malda,” says Inaul.

A week after Afrazul’s death, migrant workers from West Bengal, almost all of them from Malda, are leaving Rajasthan in large groups, scared over their uncertain future. “I was in Rajasthan since the past decade to earn money but after seeing Afrazul’s half-charred body, I can’t stay here any longer,” says Mohammed Ziaul Haq, a labourer.

Also Read | Shaken by killing of Muslim labourer in Rajasthan, some returned, but not for long

In Dhoinda, a village in Rajsamand where Afrazul lived, most of the quarters are locked, their occupants gone. Those who have stayed on are getting increasingly distrustful of strangers.

“I am still here because of a road construction contract that I had taken. As soon as it’s finished, I too will head back to Malda. Here we hear about processions and meetings every day since Afrazul was murdered and we feel uneasy,” says Mohammed Barkat Ali, a labour contractor.

“Back home, we have no savings and don’t know if we will get work regularly. Here, in Rajasthan, there is no dearth of work. But after this incident, I am scared to stay here any longer,” says another labourer, Mohammed Rafiul.

“We are not safe here and that’s why we are going back to West Bengal. We may earn less but at least our families won’t have to worry about our safety.”

Also Read | Udaipur protesters call Afrazul killer ‘symbol of Hindu anger’, cite ‘Muslim video’

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