Jaipur: Prohibitory orders preventing the gathering of large groups are still in force in Rajasthan's Udaipur and Rajasamand districts, where mobile internet has also been snapped, after the horrifying murder of a Muslim man and his assailant's arrest opened the floodgates of a torrent of hate online.
Shambhu Lal, 35, from Rajasamand had hacked 45-year-old daily wager from West Bengal, Mohammad Afrajul, to death, set his body on fire, and got his 13-year-old nephew to record the entire sequence on video. In the video, he is heard ranting against "love jihad", the term used by right-wing groups accusing Muslim men of drawing Hindu women into relationships and converting them.
On Thursday, despite prohibitory orders, groups came out at seven locations in Udaipur city to show support to Shambhu Lal. Police had to lathicharge the mobs amid stone-pelting. Over 80 people were arrested. Rajsamand district did not see any violence on Thursday.
The police have formed a team to check online hate messages in the two districts.
Earlier, multiple posts were doing the rounds on social media that hailed the killer. In various messages that circulated in Rajsamand and the neighbouring Chittorgarh districts, the killer -- whom the police have accused of murder, spreading communal hatred and criminal conspiracy -- is being hailed as an answer to 2001 parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. The messages originated from various groups based in and around Rajasamand.
One such group, called Jhala Maan Singh, which reportedly operates from a town called Badri Sadri, some 100 kilometres from Rajsamand. Another is called "Swach Rajsamand Swach Bharat", which is now deleted.
Posts like "Beware love jihadis, Shambhu is active" had led to a sense of fear and apprehension in the district. The minority community in Rajasamand and its neighbouring district, Chittorgarh, had said it wants the administration to act fast.
"If anything happens which qualifies as hate online, it will be dealt with very severely, especially if it is done to vitiate the atmosphere. The cyber cell is keeping an eye," Manoj Kumar, a senior police officer from Rajasamand district, had said.