A 27-year-old Muslim youth named Wasim lost his life in a mob attack, while his two companions sustained injuries. The attack unfolded in the Rampur area of Bansur tehsil in Rajasthan’s Alwar district, allegedly fueled by suspicions that the trio was involved in illegal wood chopping in a forest.
The victims, identified as Wasim, accompanied by his relative Asif and friend Azharuddin, fell prey to a merciless attack by assailants armed with sharp-edged weapons, sticks, and iron rods. Disturbingly, some of the attackers were reportedly identified as forest officials, further raising questions about the involvement of authorities in the tragic incident.
Waseem’s family alleged that his death was a result of his Muslim background.
“He was attacked for just being a Muslim; if they wanted to take action, they would arrest him, seize the vehicle, or fine him. But he was killed, why? This is all communal,” Zubair Khan, a cousin of Waseem, said.
Zubair said that Waseem had been a wood merchant for over a decade, procuring timber and trees from local farmers and landowners. Khan said that Waseem had ventured into the jungle a few days ago to collect wood.
“A few days back, he ventured to gather wood from the jungle. It was approximately 9 PM when he was in the process of loading the timber onto a truck. Suddenly, he got a phone call notifying him that the forest authorities were en route. Despite the impending arrival of the officials, he continued to load the timber onto the truck. The forest officials eventually caught up to him and attempted to halt the truck’s progress. He, however, chose not to bring the truck to a halt. In response, the forest officials reached out to both the police and local residents. Subsequently, the road was obstructed using a JCB, successfully forcing the truck to come to a stop,” said Khan.
Khan stated that Waseem was the one driving the pickup truck, and he was subjected to a physical assault by approximately 20 individuals, including both forest officials and local residents.
“After some time, law enforcement reached the site. Waseem was transported to the hospital, whereas two additional individuals were sent to detention. Waseem had already succumbed, and his body was placed within the mortuary.”
Khan said that the police did not provide any information to them, and they were restricted from communicating with the young individuals who were taken into custody.
“It was only in the morning that we learned about Waseem’s unfortunate passing. Once we received news of his demise, we filed a formal complaint against those responsible,” he said.
Tayyab Khan, Wasim’s father, lodged a police complaint asserting that his son had legally obtained the wood from a local dealer earlier that day. He had been transporting the wood to Rampur using a pick-up jeep during the night, as per Tayyab Khan.
Authorities seized the jeep that belonged to the forest officials and initiated legal action. A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 302 (murder), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 323 (causing hurt), and 341 (wrongful restraint).