In an indication of the times and the social milieu, people came out in mobs in Udaipur on Thursday, protesting against the arrest of Shambhulal Regar whose barbaric killing of migrant labourer Mohammed Afrazul on December 6, was circulated in a shocking video.
While the administration had imposed prohibitory orders and suspended mobile and internet services, people defied the ban and went on a rampage, attacking cops during their demonstration.
Earlier, in a separate show of solidarity with the perpetrator of the brutal murder, 516 people from across the country had donated money – Rs 2.75 lakh – was for fighting Regar’s case. The money was deposited into Regar’s wife’s account. Police have frozen the account.
Regar, 36, had hacked Mohammed Afrazul to death and burnt the body. Afrazul had migrated to Rajsamand from West Bengal for work. Regar had roped in his 14-year-old nephew to film the killing. After the barbaric act, Regar posted videos of the killing with inflammatory and communal comments to defend the act, saying his act was a punishment for those carrying out ‘love jehad’.
On Friday, The Indian Express (IE) reported that the police in Jaipur arrested a man identified as Updesh Rana, who had called for the rally in Udaipur in support of Shambhulal Regar.
“We arrested Rana as he was trying to enter Jaipur with two of his associates. Rana was booked under Section 151 of CrPC (preventive custody) for disrupting peace in the area,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, West, Ashok Gupta.
Rana, through several posts on social media, had asked people to assemble in Udaipur on Thursday for the rally. He had also claimed that he would meet the family of Regar in Rajsamand.
Acting on this, Section 144 was imposed in the district from Wednesday night and internet services were suspended for 24 hours. The Udaipur district administration also banned Rana from entering the district, the IE reported.
Rana, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, reportedly told the police that he wanted to go to Udaipur and refused to budge before he was arrested. He was produced in the court and sent to judicial custody.
Even without Rana, several Hindu outfits collected a mob in Udaipur in violation of prohibitory orders. The Times of India (ToI) reported that the mobs went berserk, forcibly closed down shops and institutions, created ruckus on roads, pelted stones and burned tyres throwing the normal life out of gear in the city of lakes. The police had to resort to lathicharge at several places.
Youths, wearing saffron bandana, raised slogans, climbed atop buildings and pelted stones. Police said tension started about 1.30pm and continued till late evening.
According to the ToI report, police said 175 people were arrested and several others were detained for causing destruction and violating prohibitory orders. “Twelve policemen, including ASP (city) Sudhir Joshi, were injured in stone pelting. We have arrested 175 miscreants,” IG Udaipur range Anand Shrivastava told TOI.