The autopsy report of social worker Zafar Khan, who was allegedly lynched by municipal council officials in Rajasthan, said that he died because of “cardio-respiratory failure”. The report did not indicate any injuries. “The report, which came late on Sunday evening, points out that the tentative cause of death is cardio-respiratory failure,” Pratapgarh’s Superintendent of Police Shivraj Meena told IANS.
However, officials said the final cause of Khan’s death will be known only after the Forensic Science Laboratory results and reports of the viscera arrive. “We are going on ahead with our investigation,” Meena told the news agency. “I can assure you that it will be fair and impartial.”
Khan, a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), was allegedly beaten to death on June 16 by Pratapgarh municipal council officials for trying to prevent them from taking photographs of women who were defecating in the open. His brother Noor Mohammad had lodged a complaint against municipal officials Kamal Harijan, Ritesh Harijan, Manish Harijan, Nagar Parishad commissioner Ashok Jain and others. Police have registered a case of murder against the five officials.
On Sunday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje (pictured above) had called Khan’s demise “extremely unfortunate” and said that an investigation had been launched into the matter. Raje retweeted a post from the verified account of the Department of Information and Public Relations, Rajasthan. This handle had itself retweeted a post by an unverified account of the Udaipur Inspector General. The post said, “Demise of Zafar Khan is unfortunate. Scientific evidence doesn’t suggest murder. Law will take its course.”
The policy of naming and shaming people for open defecation was introduced by the Rajasthan government last year as part of the Swachh Bharat mission.