The Rajasthan Police have concluded that a 55-year-old man who was allegedly assaulted by local civic officials in Pratapgarh town in 2017 died of a heart attack, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday. Zafar Khan had objected to civic officials photographing women defecating in public.
The Pratapgarh Police in its final report submitted to a local court said they have not framed any charge against the four accused civic officials. A First Information Report was registered under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code against Ashok Jain, who was then the municipal commissioner, and his employees Kamal Harijan, Ritesh Harijan, Manish Harijan hours after Khan’s death on June 16, 2017.
“A final report has been submitted to the court in the case and it has been concluded in the investigation that Hussain [Zafar Khan] died of heart attack,” said Station House Officer Babulal Murariya, who was also an investigating officer in the case.
The police said a separate report had been submitted in another complaint lodged by the civic officials against Khan under Sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty) of the Indian Penal Code.
Pratapgarh Superintendent of Police Shivraj Meena said no charges were framed against Khan. He said Khan and the civic officials had engaged in a scuffle, following which Khan went home. “It has been found that he died later because of a heart attack,” Meena claimed. “In both the cases, final reports have been submitted in the court by police, as no charges could be proved.”
Meanwhile, the counsel for Khan’s family, Amjad Khan, said he has lodged a protest petition in the court against the final report submitted by the police.
Khan’s family members alleged that the police were protecting the accused. “We hoped that the police will conduct a fair investigation,” said Khan’s brother Noor Mohammad. “As is clear from the final report, they have shielded the accused. My brother was murdered and we will approach the judiciary for action. We want justice.”
On June 16, 2017, a group of civic officials allegedly kicked and punched Khan for trying to stop them from photographing women defecating in public in Pratapgarh town. The policy of naming and shaming people for open defecation was introduced by the Rajasthan government as part of the Swachh Bharat mission.
Municipal Commissioner Jain had claimed that Khan was “in perfect health” when he left the area following the incident.
After Khan’s death, protestors blocked the highway for hours. Muslim community leaders claimed that the assault was communally targeted. Khan’s family and the protestors demanded compensation and the arrest of the municipal commissioner and delayed his funeral.