PATNA—After the Shraddha murder and chopping of the body case came to the fore, at least three such cases were reported from other parts of the country. Still, no outrage was visible in the so-called mainstream media or expressed by the leaders like the Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who claimed that if Narendra Modi had not been the PM, Aftab would have been seen in every house.
Jyoti Kumari and Ranjan Kumar of Bihar, Shyamali Chakraborty and Raju Chakraborty of West Bengal and Prince Yadav of Uttar Pradesh did the same thing that Aftab Amin Poonawala of Maharashtra did; killed and chopped the bodies.
These three incidents were reported on November 21 in Bengal, UP and Bihar newspapers.
In Bihar, one Rakesh Chaudhary was allegedly killed and chopped off into pieces by his former girlfriend Jyoti Kumari and her husband Ranjan Kumar. Police collected the body parts of Rakesh from different parts of the Patna and Nalanda districts.
In Baruipur, 40 km from Kolkata, Ujjwal Chakraborty, an ex-Navy man, was killed by his wife Shyamali Chakraborty and son Raju Chakraborty alias Joy. The mother-son duo chopped his body into six parts before dumping them in nearby areas.
In Ahroula, Azamgarh (UP), one Aradhana was killed and thrown into a well. Aradhana’s hands and legs were chopped off and her head was also missing. This incident was reported on November 16 as that of an unknown woman, but later her family members identified her by the bangle on the one hand.
A fourth incident was also reported around the same time from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh though the body was not chopped off in this case. The body of twenty-year-old Ayushi Yadav was reportedly killed by her father, Nitesh Yadav, by shooting her with his revolver and then dumping her body in a suitcase.
Hailing from Dewaria in Uttar Pradesh, Nitesh lived in the Badarpur area of Delhi.
There is an infamous case of Anupama Gulati, who was murdered by her husband, Rajesh Gulati, on October 17, 2010, in Dehradun. Her body was cut into 72 pieces and put in a deep freezer. Rajesh was sentenced to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs 15 lakhs.
Self-styled godman Shraddhananda alias Murli Manohar Mishra had drugged Shakereh Namazi and buried her alive in the compound of his sprawling bungalow in Bangalore on April 28, 1991. Ironically, Shraddhananda, serving a life sentence for this murder, has moved the Supreme Court seeking release from prison like the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Shakereh, the granddaughter of Sir Mirza Ismail, former Diwan of Mysore, had married Sharddhananda in 1986 after divorcing Akbar Khaleeli, a former diplomat.
Tandoor Murder scandal may also be reminded at this juncture when Naina Sahni was murdered on July 2, 1995, by her husband Sushil Sharma, both Congress members, over suspicion of her having an affair with someone.
Sharma had shot her twice, chopped her body into pieces, and stuffed it in a ‘tandoor’ on the roof of his friend’s restaurant.
No discussion on violence in the society
There is hardly any discussion on the history and rise of such violence and the reasons for such crime. Instead, the media and the ruling party leaders use it to spread anti-Muslim hatred. Many see the case of Shraddha and Aftab as a case of communalization of crime. Senior Congress leader and chief minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot has admitted that this incident is being used to target a community.
Assam CM Sarma and the so-called mainstream media are debating only Aftab, as the name is enough to trigger hate towards the Muslim community. He used this heinous crime to further his political rhetoric and brought in the Hindu angle. According to a tweet by ANI, he said, “Aftab killed Shraddha & chopped her body into 35 pieces. When police asked why he brought only Hindu girls, he said he did it because they were emotional. There’re other Aftaab-Shradha too. The country needs strict laws against ‘Love Jihad’.”
Mr. Gehlot’s assertion could be seen on Twitter, where hashtags like #LoveJihad and #MeraAbdulAisaNahiHai were trended. The television shows and the tweets tried to put the Shraddha-Aftab case as a Hindu-Muslim case and thus used this gruesome act to tarnish the image of the Muslim community.
One can see editorials and edit page articles on the Shraddha-Aftab case but no talk on other instances of such past and present. Many analysts say that the rise of violence in society needs to be addressed seriously. Regrettably, such crimes are blown out of proportion if the accused is a Muslim and underplayed when the accused happens to be a Hindu. This divide between Muslims and Hindus is something deeply disturbing for society.