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India
17 Jun 2017

Rajasthan: Activist lynched for protesting photographing of women defecating

When protecting women's honor leads to murder

Zafar Khan, an activist in Rajasthan's Pratapgarh, was doing what he believed in: trying to stop municipality officials from clicking pictures of women defecating in the open.

The good deed was what allegedly led to his death. The officials kicked, punched him and beat him with a stick when he opposed them.

Nagar Parishad Commissioner Ashok Jain has been accused of instigating the group.

In context

When protecting women's honor leads to murder
What happened?

Details

What happened?

Pratapgarh municipality employees reached the Bagwasa Kachi Basti area early in the morning on June 16 to "spread awareness about the adverse effects of open defecation", Jain said.

According to Zafar's brother Noor, when they tried to take pictures of women defecating, Zafar protested. The officials then assaulted him.

Kamal Harijan, Manish Harijan, Ritesh Harijan and others have been named in the FIR.

Status

Police deployed to maintain peace

Zafar had been demanding toilets in the area since before there were none.

Police have been deployed to maintain peace in fear the incident might take a communal turn.

However, Jain insists Zafar was "perfectly healthy" when he left them. "(Khan) arrived and started abusing us and also assaulted one of our sanitation staff. Following that, he left the place," he said.

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However, how safe is the name-and-shame mode?

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, people are encouraged to photograph those indulging in unhealthy practices, like open defecation or throwing garbage on streets, and then post the pictures on social media. The underlying idea is people will be embarrassed and stop the habit.

19 Jun 2017

Rajasthan: Report says 'lynched' activist died due to cardiac arrest

Post mortem of a Rajasthan activist who was allegedly lynched by municipality officials has contradicted his kin's claims. The report says he died of a cardiac arrest.

Pratapgarh District Hospital also declared the alleged victim's skull, vertebrae, brain, spinal cord, abdomen and other organs were found to be healthy.

It is noteworthy that cops have specifically ruled out "major" injuries.

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