In a concerning incident reported on December 9, Sohanlal Jatav, a Hindu tailor in Rajasthan’s Alwar district, filed a complaint with the police, alleging that he had received a death threat from the banned radical Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI).
Jatav claimed to have received a handwritten letter approximately two weeks prior, containing explicit threats of bombing and death. According to the letter attributed to the PFI, Jatav was given until December 31 to close his store in the market and comply with certain demands, failing which serious consequences were promised. The letter asserted that the three stores owned by Jatav in the market belonged to the Muslim community, pressuring him to shut them down.
However, on December 10, Jatav revealed to the media that he had purchased the land in 1971 from the village panchayat and had faced a legal challenge that was ultimately resolved. He clarified that he had rented the shop to Balaji stationers for the past six months. The current threat claimed that his possession of the shop was illegal, demanding compensation and eviction.
“I worked as a tailor in this shop for several years. Now, for the past six months, I have rented the shop to Balaji stationers. Now, there is a threat that my possession of the shop is illegal, and I should compensate for it and vacate it,” he said.
Alwar’s Superintendent of Police, Anand Sharma, acknowledged the issue and confirmed that the threat letter, dispatched from the Chikani post office on November 13, had been delivered later. He suggested the possibility that the letter was intended to instigate trouble during the ongoing assembly elections. SP Sharma also emphasised that the dispute over the shop’s possession had been resolved three decades ago, and investigations into the case are underway.
“The dispute over vacating the shop was resolved 30 years ago. The investigation into the case is ongoing,” he added.
It is crucial to note the context of religious tensions in the region. In 2022, a Hindu tailor named Kanhaiya Lal was brutally murdered by two radical Islamists, Riaz and Ghous Mohammed, who posed as customers. The assailants attacked Lal with a sharp knife while he was taking cloth measurements, stabbing him 26 times from his neck to shoulder. Lal’s tragic death was linked to his social media post supporting ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. The incident highlights the complex religious and communal landscape in the area, with ongoing concerns about the safety of minority communities.