Jains refrained from taking out a traditional amity march on Sunday, using the concluding day of their Paryushan festival to send out a message of support to the family of St Xavier’s College student, Bhavesh Lodha, who was shot dead after a traffic altercation on September 12.
So far, the police have drawn a blank in their investigations into the shocking murder of the 20-year-old college boy in Doranda after his bike collided with an auto-rickshaw.
“The student who was shot dead last Thursday belonged to the Swetambar Jain community and we decided not to take out our procession on Sunday to express our solidarity with the bereaved family,” said Banshilal Ghothi, a community elder.
He explained that the eight-day Paryushana was a key festival in the Jain calendar used to spread the message of “togetherness”. Traditionally, the festivities conclude with the procession during which community members greet each other and begin afresh, leaving behind the baggage of past mistakes.
“It is common practice to organise a feast after the procession. But, none among our community was in any mood to celebrate given the way the young boy was killed,” he said.
SSP (city) Manoj Ratan admitted the police had not been able to crack the case as yet, but expressed his solidarity with the family of the boy.
“So far, we haven’t managed much. We can understand the feeling of the community… we are taking every possible step to arrest the murderer,” he said.
Bhavesh, a first-year retail management student of St Xavier’s College, allegedly had an altercation with an auto-rickshaw driver after the bike in which he was riding pillion with friends Amit Kumar Singh and Birendra Kumar collided with the three-wheeler near Kendriya Vidyalaya.
Eyewitnesses said a man in the passenger seat of the auto-rickshaw took out a gun following the spat and fired a round. Bhavesh took the bullet in his back and was declared brought dead at RIMS.