JAIPUR: Days after a man was allegedly lynched by cow vigilantes in Alwar, a BJP legislator has accused people from the victim's Meo community of being involved in crime in the district and said he had already banned them from his office.
"The killing of Akbar Khan has shocked the nation and it should be probed fairly,"Alwar (Urban) MLA Banwari Lal Singhal told PTI.
"The law will take its course. But at the same time it is also a fact that people from the Meo community are involved in crime and entire Alwar is suffering, and people should know about this," he added.
A local Meo leader, Sher Mohammed, called the MLA's remarks an unfair generalisation of the entire community from Mewat region, spread over parts of Haryana and Rajasthan.
The MLA blamed people from the region for crimes like robbery in Alwar.
"Many of them come to Alwar from Haryana and return to their villages after committing the crime," he claimed. Singhal said he had earlier stopped people from Mewat from entering his office, claiming that most of them came only to seek favours for their relatives involved in crime.
Sher Mohammed took exception to the charge levelled by the MLA.
Saying that there might be criminal cases against people from the region, 'but generalising the whole community is unfair'.
In a note submitted today to the district authorities, he also expressed concern over the safety of Meos in the state.
"Rajasthan has become Lynchistan where so-called cow vigilantes lynched Akbar Khan. The cow vigilantes are without any fear and five people have so far lost their lives in Alwar,"Sher Mohammad, head of the Alwar Meo panchayat, alleged in the memo addressed to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
He also alleged that Ramgarh MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja has been "openly saying" that those who beat up Rakbar Khan, also known as Akbar Khan, were his own men, a charge denied by that BJP MLA.
The police said Sher Mohammed is 'history-sheeter' at a police station in Alwar district.
But the Meo leader suggested that these were false cases.
"When the police do not find a culprit, they frame a Meo person and I am fighting for such people," he said.
Rakbar Khan was beaten up on Friday night by a group of people who suspected him of smuggling cows.
An assistant sub inspector of police was suspended and three constables sent to the police lines after reports that they had delayed taking him to hospital.
The Meo leader said Naval Kishore Sharma, who informed the police about the incident, was the main culprit.
He also demanded that the role of Gyan Dev Ahuja should also be probed.
The Meo panchayat also demanded a government job for Rakbar Khan's widow and a compensation of Rs. 50 lakh.
Aslam Khan, who escaped from the mob attack, had told police that the vigilantes had boasted of backing from an MLA when they attacked his friend Rakbar Khan.
"They were telling him that the 'MLA sahab' is with them and nobody can do anything against them," according to Aslam Khan's statement to the police.
He also told police that the attackers were also talking about setting Rakbar Khan on fire.
Aslam Khan heard the names of five people involved in the attack.
There were two others in the group, but he was not aware of their names, he told police.
The police have arrested three of them so far.
Though Sher Mohammed has alleged that the 'MLA saheb' mentioned in Aslam Khan's statement is Ahuja, no one has been named by the victim's friend.
Ahuja said the police got the 'MLA saheb' reference recorded deliberately to target him because he keeps raising his voice against their failure to stop crime.
He held the local police responsible for Rakbar Khan's death, saying the group of people who caught the man had handed him over them.
But police delayed taking him to hospital, he said.