Labourer from Malda killed in Rajasthan


New Delhi: A migrant labourer from Bengal was hacked to death and burnt in Rajasthan on Wednesday by a lone assassin who made inflammatory comments, and footage of the murder was uploaded on social media.

Rajasthan police have identified the victim as 49-year-old Afrajul Khan from Malda and arrested Shambhulal Regar, 45, a resident of Rajsamand, a town in the erstwhile princely state of Mewar.

The videotape raced across social media and sparked concern in Bangladesh where officials were trying to ensure that extremist elements do not exploit the situation ahead of Friday prayers.

Both Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the murder.

"This is a deplorable act which needs to be condemned in the strongest possible terms," Raje, whose initial response to earlier instances of lynching in Rajasthan had fuelled criticism, said in a statement. The Rajasthan home minister also expressed shock.

Mamata tweeted: "We strongly condemn the heinous killing of a labourer from Bengal in Rajasthan. How can people be so inhuman? Sad."

A nephew of the suspected killer has been detained on suspicion that he had recorded the footage.

Rajasthan police chief O.P. Galhotra said the prosecution would seek the death penalty. "Prima facie, it does not look like this was done by a normal human being," he said.

Afrajul's wife and three daughters live in Malda.


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