A 22-year-old young Muslim named Rahul Khan was beaten to death by his friends over the alleged stealing of a mobile in the Indian state of Haryana at Palwal district on Tuesday, December 14. His family claimed that the video of an incident shows the act of hate crime.
Police have arrested all three friends Aakash (alias DIljale), Vishal and Kalua who will remain in custody. They all belong to the same village, Rasoolpur.
According to the victim’s father, Chiddi Khan, his son went to a wedding ceremony in Hoshangabad with his friends. His father received a phone call at 6 pm from the accused who informed him that his son was seriously injured in a road accident.
However, the district superintendent of police (DSP) Yashpal Khatana said that on returning to Rasoolpur, an argument took place when they were drinking that Khan was hiding Kalua’s mobile phone. When his friends allegedly found the mobile from Khan’s possession, they started beating him with rods and other weapons.
Khan was taken to canal afterwards to be assaulted further and where the purported video was shot by his friend, Aakash.
While talking to Indian media, his brother-in-law, Akram said that he went to Kalua’s residence after being reported about his accident initially, the victim was barely conscious. His head was crushed and he had injuries on his arms and legs. He was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Kalua accompanied his family along to a hospital.
His father initially filed a complaint stating that his son was killed after an unknown vehicle hit his son’s motorcycle at Nangal road.
On the next morning on December 15, the family received the video of Khan’s physical assault, which was also uploaded on social media. It showed him being beaten and in which voices can be heard saying Rahul was a Muslim and they (suspects) were Hindus that made them believe that Khan was murdered because of communal hate.
Rahul Khan’s wife, Saina claimed that on December 15, before his last breath in the hospital, he told her that he was beaten up with rods by some people including Kalua.
His sister, Razia also alleged that that the accused was demanding a large amount of money from her brother as their father retired from the Indian Railways in April this year.
Initially, police registered a first information report (FIR) under an Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 279 (rash driving) and 304 (a) (death caused by negligence) but after the video surfaced and the assessment of the post-mortem revealed all of the victim’s injuries, they added charges of murder and arrested Khan’s friends.
The police have confiscated the mobile phone on which the video was recorded. During the interrogation, it was revealed that Aakash shot the clip of physical assault and he also uploaded it on social media to supposedly save himself from an incident. He allegedly said in the video not to beat the victim.
The video has been sent to the forensic lab for analysis. The relevant charges would be added if the communal hate was found.
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