On June 6, a 25-year-old Manohar lal went missing for three days the police and the family had no clue about his whereabouts. On June 9 the officers of the Indian Reserve Batallion (IRB) located the body of a man stuffed in a gunny bag, under a waterfall. The boy was mutilated and chopped into as many as seven pieces. Till June 13 no media coverage was done in this case.
Amid claims of the administration curbing the matter, as it involved two communities, the Hindu Jagran Manch and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) members supported the victim’s family. Soon the BJP announced a compensation amount of Rs 5 Lakh for the aggrieved family.
The accused were identified as Shabbir Ali, Shafaqat, Mussafir Hussain and a woman Farida. A juvenile was also detained by the police for interrogation.
Following the demise of Manohar Lal, Hindus and local activists organised protests and demanded action. However, to disrupt the protest, miscreants set ablaze the house of the accused family. The next day, police imposed section 144 for 60 days in the area.
All of this was done to curb the matter. Organiser reported the case from the beginning and unearthed several lies hidden the in case. At the beginning the case was reported as that of an alleged love affair between the victim man with the minor sister of the accused.
Later on sevrela shocking facts were revealed some of them are:
- The accused family was illegally cutting the Deodar trees and exporting them. Manohar, who used to pass by their house every day, might have seen it.
- The accused family was into illegal animal smuggling and hence he could have killed the victim.
- In winter the whole village moves to the plains but the accused family stayed there only, even during the snowfalls. This raises suspicion as, the village shares border with Kashmir.
- The accused family illegally procured and transported the medicinal plants grown in the forest and was well connected. In the century area, the family is into the killings of western tragopan.
- During demonetization, the accused family exchanged a sum of Rs 95 Lakhs and currently had Rs 2 crore in their bank accounts.
- During the 1998 Chamba massacre, the accused family was interrogated by the police. Notably, The Pakistan-trained Islamic terrorists massacred 35 Hindus, mostly labourers, and injured 11 in the Chamba district bordering Doda in Jammu on early hours of that day.
- The accused family used to organise ‘Jamaat’ in the area.
- These Bakarwals living in the area have grown over time and are mostly migrated from the Kashmir valley.
The state general secretary of the Hindu Jagran Manch, Kamal Gautam who went to meet the victim’s family on June 9 told Organiser in a telephonic interview on June 14 that, the police have detained multiple people and have arrested three culprits so far. He said, the local media under the influence of the administration tried to cover up the issue as not a single report in the case was published till June 13, until the national media picked the case and the picture of Manohar’s butchered body went viral on social media.
About the family he said, the aged parents are in a vulnerable situation following their son’s demise, they are poor people, he said. Until his visit, the family believed that being poor and Dalit they will not be severed with justice. Gautam said after Manohar went missing two of the Mules were standing there, on the murder spot, till the body was recovered.
On June 16, Gautam told Organiser that no Hindu was involved in the burning of the accused family’s house and that this is an attempt to malign the protest and demand of justice by the aggrieved family. On behalf of the Hindu Jagran Manch, Gautam demanded NIA and CBI intervention in the case.
On June 14, the locals and the Hindu activists called for a massive protest in the village, the demanded the accused to be given stringent punishment as exemplary action. They raised slogans like ‘police prashashan murdabad..hatyaron ko fansi do..’ against the administration.
As soon as the protests intensified, the BJP leader and former Himachal CM Jairam Thakur raised the demand to hand over Manohar’s murder case to National Investigation Agency (NIA). Former CM Thakur, during the protests in Chamba, also announces an assistance sum of Rs 5 Lakh for the victim’s family.
BJP State President Rajeev Bindal on June 16, accused the Congress government in the state of not letting them meet the family of the deceased. Jindal also announced to hold a protest march in all 12 districts of the state on June 17th.
On June 23, the Hindus called for a widespread protest in the town, they demanded arrests of the culprits within 30 days or they will call for another protest. They also demanded all the outsiders in the state to be dragged out or verified by the police during the migration.
Kamal Gautam, a Hindu leader who was leading the protest, said that it was a brutal murder and a direct attack on the Hindu community in Himachal Pradesh which is not tolerable. He added, “It was not a normal murder. So we demand the probe in this entire incident from the central agencies, including NIA or any other agency to cover the conspiracy behind the killing of Manohar Lal.”
Gautam can be seen saying, “Today, in this historic protest, I have come here to appeal to all the Hindus in Himachal Pradesh. We give an ultimatum of 30 days to the people with this mindset who are roaming in Himachal Pradesh. You have a time period of 30 days. You can leave Himachal Pradesh in 30 days. If you don’t, then only you will be responsible for what happens after that. Hindu community will take the drive in its hands.”
According to Deputy Commissioner Apoorva Devgn of Samba, the protesters have submitted a memorandum, which he has received and intends to send to the Governor of Himachal Pradesh. He mentioned that the demonstrators were seeking evidence from the central agencies and clarified that this request would be forwarded to the Governor of Himachal Pradesh for consideration.