Rajasthan: 200 Muslims flee from their village after Upper Caste ‘terror’ shadowed

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Religious healer Ramesh Suthar assaulted folk singer Amad Khan for singing ‘bad song’ during navratri, he claimed Goddess abandoned him because of his song, Khan was later found dead and Upper Caste Hindus threatened the family not to complain the police

Mewat Yuva Sangthan takes out a silent march in Alwar demanding arrest of accused in Pehlu Khan lynching case. (File Photo : Hindustan Times)

Rajasthan: A large exodus of people nearly 200-odd Muslim people, including women and children, are living under police protection in homes of their relatives at Balad, about 20 km from their village Dantal in Jaisalmer district, reported Hindustan Times. This exodus was of targeting minority community in a BJP ruled state, where a cattle trader from Haryana, Pehlu Khan, was lynched in April by a cow protection vigilante group.

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Police said on friday, “About twenty Muslim families left their village in western Rajasthan following alleged threats from Hindu upper caste villagers, in a string of events starting with the murder of a folk singer”

The issue began from on September 27, at the Jaisalmer village during a Navratri function in a village temple, where folk musician Amad Khan, 45 belonging to a folk artist community known as Langa Maganiyaar performed religious songs, a tradition in Dantal, about 700 km from state capital Japiur.

Earlier this May, over 400 Muslims flee for life after a Muslim man eloped with Hindu girl in Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh. Over a dozen homes belonging to Muslims were set ablaze in presence of police.

Police said a village faith healer, Ramesh Suthar, asked Khan to sing a particular raga so that the spirit of the temple goddess enters his body, one of the so-called miracles traditional occultists claim they can perform and also added that Suthar used to prescribe cures to various problems of the local people, attributing the solutions to the spirit of the goddess. Suthar also blamed khan for his poor singing which led goddess abandon him on that day. A local police officer said “He (Suthar) broke Khan’s musical instruments and also assaulted him.”

Khan’s younger brother Suge Khan said “The same night, Suthar with two others allegedly kidnapped Khan from his home and later, my brother’s body was thrown outside the house.”

Abruptly on next day the elders of dominant Hindu community threatened khan’s family not to lodge complaint and by listening to this Suge khan said “We got scared and buried his body quietly,”

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However they gathered all the courage with their external family members staying outside village and assured them of help. With this they lodged the complaint and meanwhile Ramesh Suthar and other upper caste villagers ordered the Muslims to leave the village. Suge Khan said “they threatened us that if we did not leave the village they will kill us. After that about 20 families consisting around 200 members have left the village and took shelter at nearby Balad village in our relative’s house,”

Dantal village sarpanch Khet Singh disclaimed the allegations of threat, saying Adam Khan died due to cardiac arrest. Adding to it villagers only suggested to his family that since it was a natural death & it should not be taken to police, he said, adding when the people refused to accompany Khan’s family to register the case, the Muslims left in anger.

“Along with sub-divisional officer, I met them yesterday and tried to convince them (to return)…some anti-social elements are trying to disturb the harmony.” However, police said prima facie Khan died due to physical assault.

Jaisalmer superintendent SP Gaurav Yadav said they were trying to convince the Muslims to return.

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SP Gaurav Yadav said “We have assured them of protection if they want to return…We have also spoken to village elders and told them that cases would be lodged if they threaten the Muslims,”

Police said “They arrested Ramesh Suthar on October 4 but two of his accomplices are absconding and the body of Khan was exhumed and an autopsy conducted and lastly said that the Muslims have only lodged a murder complaint but refrained from officially accusing anyone of threat and intimidation.”

Sources : Hindustan Times

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