In a horrifying incident that took place in the early hours of Sunday, the chief of a right-wing group in Bhopal allegedly killed a 25-year-old man named Salman, after the latter reportedly scribbled some objectionable words on his car.
Along with his friends, Shiva Patel of the Rashtriya Hindu Sena, who is the main accused in the case, first thrashed Salman and then ran him over with an Innova car, before fleeing the scene, police said.
According to the city superintendent of police (CSP), Kulwant Singh, there was no history of conflict between the two men, who also happened to be neighbours in Shantinagar, one of the city’s oldest slum areas. However, Patel went into a rage after Salman had allegedly scribbled onto his Innova.
Along with three others – named as Rocky, Bharat Soni and Chottu in an Indian Express report – Patel began smashing the windscreens of vehicles in Maharana Pratap Nagar, late on Saturday night, before winding up at Salman’s home. An altercation broke out, during which the Sena chief and his three companions (all reportedly drunk) hurled abuses at Salman’s family, injuring him and his brother Suhail.
Speaking to India Today, CSP Hitesh Choudhary said “[Patel] first smashed [Salman’s] head and then attacked him with a sharp edged weapon.” But it didn’t end there.
After thrashing Salman, Patel and his crew allegedly dragged the young man some 100 meters, before running him over with the Innova, fleeing the scene and leaving him for dead. Both brothers had to then be rushed to the nearby Narmada hospital. Suhail suffered head injuries, but survived. But for Salman there was little hope, and he eventually succumbed to his injuries on Sunday evening. Salman had been looking forward to his wedding on May 21.
So far, the police have arrested Patel and charged him with murder. Shantinagar residents have demanded the immediate arrest of all the persons accused in the case. And despite there being several eye witness accounts, there may be some obstacles to achieving speedy justice in this case. For one thing, a report by India Today states that the “[p]olice tried to play down his association with the Sena and removed the sticker of Rashtriya Hindu Sena from the car used in the crime.“ The same report also suggested that Patel had ties with the ruling party in Bhopal.
Image used for representative purposes only.