Five days after the murder of Rahul Rajput in Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar, the Karni Sena has registered its presence near the family’s home in Moolchand Mohalla.
On October 12, when this correspondent visited the house, Rahul’s father Sanjay Rajput was sitting outside, surrounded by Karni Sena members. The family will get justice through social media, one of them said.
Rahul, 18, was a student of Delhi University’s School of Open Learning. He had been preparing for the civil services examination, and used to give free tuitions to children in the neighbourhood. Rahul was beaten to death in this Northwest Delhi locality, purportedly because he had been in an interfaith relationship with a Muslim girl.
Rahul’s assault took place at Nanda road, not far from his home. On the evening of October 7, his family said, a few boys called him outside on the pretext of asking about tuitions and then allegedly assaulted him. He was taken to a hospital where he later died.
The girl’s brother, Mohammed Raj, has been arrested with four others — their relative Manwar Hussain and three minors — as well as Shubham Bharadwaj, reportedly a friend of the brother. The police claim the group . Now, Rahul’s family, however, have accused the police of negligence.
Soon after Rahul's death, Vijayanta Arya, the deputy commissioner of police (North-East) appealed to the public not to give the incident “any colour”; she said it was a “dispute” between two families.
‘The police are showing laxity’: Sanjay Rajput
Sanjay Rajput said he wants people to focus on getting the killers punished, rather than concentrating on the “Hindu-Muslim” angle. He said Rahul had met the Muslim girl at a nearby NGO, where they both worked.
“The girl was also here that day,” Sanjay said, recalling the day his son died. “Her brothers called on her phone and said they wanted to speak to Rahul about matters related to tuition, after which they both went out. As they reached some distance, the boys started beating Rahul. The girl tried to stop them but in vain. She ran to a nearby police station but the cops refused to intervene.”
Rahul's tuition board.
As Newslaundry spoke to Sanjay, Karni Sena members came forward to take their leave. They assured him that he won’t be left alone and that they will keep visiting him.
Sanjay continued: “The police are showing laxity in the case. They took 24 hours to register an FIR. The police should tell us if they are not interested in investigating the case. We will ask for a CBI probe.”
He added that the police initially asked him to cremate the body before the FIR was registered.
The station house officer had visited him the day before, he said, and had told them, “Today we are coming, tomorrow you will have to come,” in the context of any follow-ups in the case. Sanjay added: “The police are trying to bury the matter...We don’t want Hindu-Muslim politics in this case. We only want justice. Even the minor accused should also be given exemplary punishment so that no one else should lose their son like this.”
When asked about Sanjay’s claims, Sudhir Kumar, the station house officer of Adarsh Nagar, said: “Anybody can say anything. We caught five accused in the case within two hours of the incident. This can’t be a sign of slack. Our teams are still working on this case day and night. More names are appearing in the case and we’re trying to nab them.”
How will the minors be punished? Kumar said: “This is the court’s job. Our job is only to produce them before the court...We are not leaving any stone unturned in fulfilling our duties.”
‘The incident has ruined our lives’
Newslaundry met the families of the accused in the narrow lanes of Jahangirpuri H Block. The accused are neighbours who also studied together.
The father of one of the minors is a fruit seller. His son is a student in Class 10. The father has been so terrified since his son’s arrest that he hasn’t been able to work. The boy’s mother said they heard about the incident when they received a phone call from the police.
Her son never fought with anybody, she added. He just went along with his friends.
The mothers of two other minor accused agreed with this. Their sons went along with the girl’s brother only because of their friendship, they claimed.
Regret over Rahul’s death was writ large on their faces. “He was also somebody’s son,” one of the mothers said. “Our sons will return one day but that family lost their only son.”
In a one-room house nearby, the girl’s father lay on a bed. The girl’s mother said, “Since my husband is unwell, my daughter had started working with an NGO after the lockdown to support the family. We did not know anything about her relationship with Rahul.”
She said this incident has “ruined” their lives. “My daughter was studying her BA. We could not even buy a shanty as we wanted to educate our children first...We have not been able to meet our children since the incident. The police came to our home and seized all our documents, including Aadhaar cards.”
Where is her daughter now?
“The police said our daughter is safe and at a shelter home,” the mother said. “Our son is in jail.”
This story was on Newslaundry Hindi.
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