Raval, a stationery shop employee in Malad West, Mumbai was arrested less than 24 hours after he allegedly murdered Devji Maheshwari in Gujarat’s Kutch district. The victim was a senior Dalit activist of the All India Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMCEF) and a member of the Indian Legal Professionals Association in Gujarat’s Kutch district.
The Mumbai Police stated that Raval and Maheshwari hailing from the same village had previously clashed multiple times on the latter’s views on Brahminism and his critical posts on the same. According to a Crime Branch official, the suspect had allegedly warned Maheshwari to refrain from putting up these posts on his social media platform and even threatened him. However, Maheshwari refused to step back down and continued to challenge him. The last post on the lawyer’s Facebook page was a video of Waman Meshram, the National President of BAMCEF stating that members of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes and Other Backward Classes are not Hindus.
The suspect allegedly travelled from Rapar to Malad on Wednesday intending to murder the Dalit activist. CCTV footage procured from the area reportedly shows Maheswari entering his office at 6 PM and was soon followed in by a man wearing a red T-shirt. Seconds later, the man was seen fleeing the premises. The man was later identified as Raval. He is currently booked under charges of murder and criminal conspiracy under sections of the SC/ST Act at Ranpar police station. The Gujarat Police have registered an FIR against nine accused and while five of them were arrested, the others are reportedly absconding.
V L Mataang, the National President of the Bahujan Mukti Party wrote to PM Narendra Modi seeking a CBI probe into the murder. Meanwhile, the victim’s family along with local Dali organisations refused to accept the body until all the accused had been arrested.