Shambhu Lal Regar, who is in jail in Jodhpur for murdering and then burning the body of a Muslim labourer, capturing the whole incident in a video, was honoured with a tableau during Ram Navmi celebrations in the city on Sunday.
Pictures of a procession organised to celebrate the birthday of Lord Ram have surfaced on social media, with a banner hailing Regar as “the one who curbed love jihad”.
According to a news report by journalist Salik Ahmed for Hindustan Times, the organiser of the tableau, and co-treasurer of Shiv Sena’s Jodhpur chapter, Hari Singh Panwar, said, “I just wanted to express my regard for Regar. His commitment towards Hinduism inspired me. There was no intention to hurt anybody’s sentiments.”
In December, 2017, the Rajasthan police had said Shambhu Lal Regar wanted to kill another Muslim man but ended up hacking and burning alive a 48-year-old migrant labourer in Rajsamand on December 6.
According to Hindi daily Hindustan, during interrogation, Regar had told police that Mohammed Afrazul, a resident of West Bengal’s Malda, was not his target but he killed him by mistake.
The murder on December 6 triggered a India-wide outrage after videos of the incident went viral on social media. He also shot several videos after the murder in which he expressed his hate for Muslims. He was soon taken into custody.
“He wanted to kill one Ajju Sheikh because he was in contact with a girl. We suspect Regar had an affair with her,” Rajendra Singh Rao, police circle officer of Rajsamand, told the newspaper.
Regar reportedly went to the market at Jhalchakki to enquire about Sheikh, the police said. But he could not find him and asked a labourer for his mobile number. “The labourer might have misheard Regar or needed to get some work done and gave him Afrazul’s number,” the police said.
Regar called Afrazul on December 5, the police said. He asked Afrazul to meet him but the day the labourer was reportedly in the town of Nathdwara.
As many as 28 policemen and several others were injured after a mob went on rampage in Udaipur against the arrest of Regar.