In the second instance in two days, a 30-year-old migrant worker from Chhattisgarh was lynched at Sundha-Vansol village in Mahemdavad taluka of Kheda district in the wee hours, Monday. On Sunday, Kulman Gagan (35), a Nepalese, was lynched by 10 men at Jivanpura village in Sanand taluka.
Taking cognisance of the rising hate crimes against migrant workers coming to Gujarat in search of livelihood, Kheda Police briefed the media that mob frenzy is being covertly built against the target on grounds of the worker being a “child-lifter,” “thief” or “gangster.”
“Messages are circulated on Whatsapp to build the momentum. We are working on getting to the crux of the matter. Last year, a taxi driver who lost his way was almost lynched by people of Sarsavni village for being a child lifter. These are not isolated incidents but part of a larger working,” stated Kheda SP, V.R. Bajpai.
So far, the investigating officials have learnt that Kherwar was from Balrampur district in Chhattisgarh. “He arrived on Friday, looking for work on the high-speed rail project. However, with no employment available currently, Kherwar was all set to return. Unfortunately, around 12:30 am Monday morning, he was caught unawares for no obvious reason by a group of lynchers, tied up and beaten,” records the FIR lodged by his former supervisor Manish Singh.
A video of the incident which went viral shows Kherwar, severely injured, lying on the ground unable to even accept water offered by someone.
The police, however, are baffled about how Kherwar reached Sundha-Vansol. “He arrived in Ahmedabad to meet Singh. Four persons have been arrested so far. They claim having assaulted him assuming that he was a thief,” added investigating officer N.M. Panchal. Kherwar had earlier worked on the bullet train project.
It was only when an anonymous call was made to the police control room that the Mahemdavad police team reached the spot. Kherwar was found to be critical and rushed to the Mahemdavad Civil Hospital.
“He was soon shifted to Ahmedabad Civil Hospital but died at about 6.30 am, Monday. Kherwar had injuries all over his body and his skin had almost peeled off from the assault. He also had a deep wound to his head,” added the police officer. Mahemdavad Police have registered a case of rioting and murder against unknown persons.
Still gathering evidence to construct the crime, Bajpai hinted that Kherwar did not speak in Gujarati and that singled him out. “We are trying to contact his family so that they can take his body,” he said.
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