Rajasthan Election: A year later, Afrazul’s killing not a poll issue

A year after a migrant worker from West Bengal named Afrazul Khan was brutally murdered in Rajasthan, people want to leave the painful memory behind and move on, as they prepared to vote in assembly elections being held on December 7.

Last year on December 6 he was hacked and burnt to death by Shambhulal Regar, a local marble trader, in Rajsamand.

The marble trader had claimed that he killed him over ‘love jihad’, but the Rajasthan police, in its charge sheet, said his real motive was to hide his “illicit relations” with a woman he called his “Hindu sister”.

A grocery shop owner in Kankroli named Ganesh Singh said, “No doubt, that was a painful incident and the guilty should be punished as per the law. But that incident has not cast a shadow on the relations between Hindus and Muslims who have been living in harmony here for centuries.”

Ali Asgat, a businessman in Dariba, Rajsamand said, “Barring that one incident, Hindus and Muslims have lived in peace here. We have business and personal relations with each other. If we develop differences during the day, we try to sort those out by the evening.”

Rajsamand district BJP president, Bhanwar Lal Sharma, said “There is no infighting. All our leaders and workers are solidly behind Maheshwariji. There were some issues initially but we have resolved them.”

He insisted that the killing of Afrazul was not a poll issue. “There is no communal discord here. We take everybody along on our development journey.”