In a horrific incident on December 3, a Muslim mob brutally murdered Shyam Rathod, a 25 year-old banjara youth, in broad daylight in Kali Daulat Khan, Yavatmal, Maharashtra. As per reports, Shyam was riding a two-wheeler in the bus stand area of Kali Daulatkhan
Shyam Rathod was preparing for the police recruitment exams. This murder occurred on a central square of the Kali Daulat Khan village in front of villagers. He was partially beheaded with swords. The flashpoint was said to be a dispute over a trivial matter. Shyam's bike had hit one of the accused, after which they had an argument.
He was stopped and attacked by the accused using knives and swords. Shyam's intestines were ripped out during the attack, and he died on the spot.
One and a half lakh Banjara youths undertook a march to Pusad in Yawatmal district on December 17 to demand justice against the jihadist elements in the area.
Police have registered an FIR and have arrested 42-year-old Sheikh Sadiq alias Sadar Mansoor Ali, 28-year-old Syed Kalim Syed Hafeez, 20-year-old Manu alias Sirajuddin alias Sabiroddin Wahboddin and Mukimoddin Rafikuddin in the case. They have recovered swords and knives which were used by the accused.
Gour Sena, a Banjara organisation, working for the upliftment of the community, is heading the agitation. It has demanded strict action against the jihadists and a permanent solution to the communal clashes in the Kali Daulat Khan area. Kali Daulat Khan is a prosperous village that is central to the weekly market for the 20-plus villages in the vicinity. Kali Daulat and the villages in the area have been home to the Banjara community for ages.
Kali Daulat Khan is nowadays witnessing an unnatural surge in the Muslim population which is now nearing 40 per cent, according to police and civil administration's estimates. As the Muslim population surged, communal disturbances started to occur, and now it's a regular affair in the village.
The jihadist elements among the large Muslim population like to create clashes with the local Banjara community out of nothing. Khushal Rathod, a local social worker, told Organiser. He also said that Shyam was popular among the Kali Daulat Khan villagers. He was known for providing quick assistance to the people in the vicinity whenever they faced any difficulties.
Shri Ajay, a social entrepreneur from Pusad, told Organiser that Hindus feel insecure in Kali Daulat Khan as the NCP leaders always side with the jihadists overlooking their own community. He said the Gour Sena; a Banjara organisation is an apolitical organisation with a very strong base in the rural areas of the Yavatmal district. He added that it also has a presence in the different parts of the State where Banjara community has a strong presence. He added that Kali Daulat Khan had been stationed with an SRP platoon due to the communal disturbances.
Khusal Rathod remembered a large march taken out by the Gour Sena in Parabhani district town to demand justice for a Banjara girl who was raped and murdered a few years ago.
The Banjaras involved in the agitation want Shri Devendra Fadanvis to visit the village and listen to their problems as they have no hope left by the ruling MVA Government. The Banjara community is a major OBC community in Maharashtra that can tilt the political balance and has a high literacy rate and highly educated youth among the community.