Investigations into the death of Zafar Khan, an activist based out of Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district, has got entangled in a blame game.
The post mortem report, a copy of which has been accessed by India Today, has been made the basis of state machinery’s claim that Zafar Khan was not murdered but died of heart attack.
The post mortem report states, “In the opinion of Medical Board, tentative cause of death is cardio-respiratory failure. Final cause of death will be given after FSL & HPE report of viscera”.
Shivraj Meena, Superintendent of Police, Pratapgarh, said, “As per the post mortem report, Zafar Khan’s death was due to heart attack, and there is no such injury mark on Zafar’s body which proves that he was murdered. The FSL report is yet to come… The case is being investigated impartially. The allegation against the accused is yet to be proved.”
Kiran Maheshwari, a minister in the Vasundhara Raje government, maintained that the case was solved and Zafar Khan died due to a heart attack. “The incident has been handled. No issue remains. Investigation has been done. The tragedy happened due to a heart attack. I understand that it has been properly sorted out. Everyone has together sorted it out in a proper way,” the minister said.
On Sunday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje called Zafar Khan’s “demise” extremely unfortunate, a comment which saw enough criticism coming her way on social media. “The demise of Zafar Khan ji in Pratapgarh is extremely unfortunate. Investigation is on–justice shall prevail,” the Rajasthan CM had tweeted.
EYEWITNESSES HAVE A DIFFERENT STORY TO TELL
Eyewitnesses, however, alleged that Zafar Khan was brutally assaulted by civic officials after he objected to them clicking pictures of women defecating in the open.
The commissioner of the Nagar Parishad is of the four accused named in the FIR filed by Zafar Khan’s brother Noor Mohammed.
Sarsi, an eyewitness to the alleged lynching, said: “Three of us had gone to relieve ourselves. Suddenly, a vehicle stopped near us and people who got down from that vehicle started misbehaving and clicking pictures. We started shouting. Zafar bhai came and tried to save us but they started beating him up and hit him with stones. He fell unconscious but was still beaten up. We tried to save him”.
Another eyewitness, Jaitun, said, “First, two men got hold of him and then someone started beating him up, he was hit with stones too. We saw it. I was standing there”.