Crime Report

As Rajasthan singer is murdered for unsatisfactory performance, police search for two more accused

Other members of Manganyar community flee village after Amad Khan was accused of failing to perform a song well enough to lead a faith healer into a trance.

The police in Rajasthan are searching for two men accused of killing a folk singer in Jaisalmer district’s Dantal village on September 27. Amad Khan, 45, was beaten to death after a faith healer claimed that the musician’s performance had been too inadequate to lead him into a state of trance during a temple ritual.

The faith healer, Ramesh Suthar, who belongs to the Bhopa community of priest-singers, has already been arrested.

Khan, who belonged to the lower caste Manganyar community of folk musicians, had been asked to perform a melody called raag parcha at a temple during the Navratra festival. This tune, it was thought, would allow faith healer Ramesh Suthar to get possessed with the spirit of the presiding deity, the police said.

When that did not happen, Suthar blamed Khan for not performing the tune correctly. This resulted in a scuffle in which Khan’s musical instruments were smashed by some villagers.

That evening, three villagers, including Suthar, went to Khan’s house and beat him again. He died shortly after, the police said. “From preliminary investigation it has emerged that Khan was physically assaulted after which he got a cardiac arrest, leading to his death,” said Superintendent of Police, Jaisalmer, Gaurav Yadav.

However, the villagers held a meeting and convinced Khan’s family to claim that he had died of natural causes. They were warned not tell anyone what had really happened. The family apparently agreed and Khan’s body was buried. It was 24 hours before news of Khan’s death reached the local police station, around 40 km away.

When a team led by the Station House Officer visited Dantal to investigate, Yadav said, “the village head and later others collectively claimed Khan had died of a cardiac arrest and the police team returned without initiating any probe”.

Three days later, however, members of the Manganyar community had an argument with some upper-caste residents who allegedly refused to give them water for rituals around Khan’s death. Informed about the tension in the village, the Station House Officer returned with his team, only to be convinced that it was a minor matter, the police said.

Breaking the silence

Later that day, one of Khan’s relatives who was visiting from Jodhpur convinced the family to approach the district administration. The police returned once more to question the villagers and the plot was finally unravelled.

On October 2, the police registered a case of murder and arrested Suthar. However, his two accomplices had fled by then. “Khan’s body was exhumed too and sent for a postmortem examination,” said Yadav.

A few days later, all 20 Manganyar families fled Dantal, initially for a town nearby and eventually for Jaisalmer. “The district administration is trying to convince them to return to their village,” Yadav said. “They can be provided security if they feel intimidated after the Amad Khan incident.”

According to civil rights activist Kavita Srivastava, since Khan’s Manganyar family had broken the social code by going against a member of the Bhopa community – who are de facto priests in small village temples – all other communities in the village, led by the dominant Rajputs, banded together against the Manganyars.

Srivastava added that there was no clear communal or caste subtext to the killing as Khan was from the Dholi caste, which includes Hindus and Muslims.

“It is anger and consolidation of the other communities against them for going to the police led to their exodus,” she explained.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.


Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.