In a shocking incident in Jaipur, a 17-year-old Kashmiri boy Basit Khan, was beaten brutally by some young men on February 5. He sustained serious head injuries after a mob delivered repeated blows even as they hurled slurs and abusive language at him. On February 6, Khan succumbed to his injuries.
Khan hailed from an impoverished family in Kupwara and was working part time in Jaipur. He was a student of class 11 and worked for an event management company. The incident took place at the venue of an event.
Sufyan Rafiq, the only eye-witness in the case told The Quint that the youth who attacked Khan repeatedly hit him on the head and even said, “Jaipur se hum ek ek Kashmiri ko nikal denge,” (We will take every Kashmiri out of Jaipur). Rafiq further said, “Basit wanted to sit in front as he was tired. This enraged a boy from Mumbai and he held on to Basit’s collar. They started beating him up. One of the boys, Aditya, was repeatedly hitting Basit on the head.”
After beating Khan, they were put in a vehicle and dropped at some distance from their home. Throughout the drive the assailants kept complaining about the growing number of Kashmiris. Rafiq told The Quint, “After getting dropped, he and I walked and walked. He kept falling. As soon as we reached home, he began to cry. Then he started vomiting. In the cab on the way to the hospital, he fell unconscious.”
Khan underwent surgery, but died on the night of February 6. Rafiq then went to file a FIR with the police. The accused however, tried to dissuade Rafiq from doing so. Rafiq recalls, “When I said I was definitely going to, another boy straight up threatened me. He said, Tum mein se ek coma mein hai, tera number bhi aajayega (One of you is already in coma, you will be next).”
The accused were booked under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), which was subsequently changed to 303 (murder), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC. The police have arrested three people in connection with the case, including the key accused Aditya. But curiously, the police deny that this was a hate crime. Assistant Commissioner of Police in Jaipur Ashok Gupta told The Quint that the incident was not a case of hate crime. He added that the victim was not attacked for his religious identity or even linked to the state he belonged to.