The Hindu has attempted to whitewash the horrific murder of Nagaraju by Syed Mobin Ahmed, the brother of Nagaraju’s spouse Ashrin Sulthana, as a ‘caste-induced honour killing’ just days after he was killed due to religious and Islamic hatred. Interestingly, this occurs after the murder’s intent and the perpetrators are fully known to everyone.
The Hindu published a detailed piece on Nagaraju’s murder in Telangana, complete with a detailed sequence of events, but it gradually attempted to portray the entire case as a result of ‘caste hatred’, as if Nagaraju was killed because he was a Dalit and not because he was a Kafir who married a Muslim woman, and was killed by her Islamist brothers. This demonstrates the publication’s determination to sanitise the deadliest acts of Islamic hatred ever committed and depict them as something else, tacitly blaming the Hindu community for religious hate crimes by the Muslim community.
Billapuram Nagaraju, a 25-year-old Marredpally resident, was stabbed to death at the Saroornagar Tehsildar’s office by his wife’s brother, Syed Mobin Ahmed. Ashrin Sulthana, the deceased Billapuram Nagaraju’s wife, had revealed that earlier her own family had threatened to murder her if she married the Hindu man. Before her marriage to Nagaraju, Ashrin Sulthana, the deceased Billapuram Nagaraju’s wife, told News18 that her brother attempted to murder her twice. They escaped to Hyderabad and married in an Arya Samaj temple.
She maintains that her brother, Syed Mobin Ahmed, has been plotting vengeance since the couple married in January. Mohammed Masood Ahmed devised a strategy to destroy Nagaraju alongside Mobin Ahmed. The accused even attempted to find Nagaraju last month but failed.
On May 6, the accused tracked him down on their bike in Panjala Anil Kumar Colony, Saroornagar. Sulthana’s brother stopped them on their way to the Mandal Revenue Office in Saroornagar and thrashed Nagaraju with an iron rod. Nagaraju died on the spot. As per Sulthana, Nagaraju even assured Sulthana’s mother that he was going to convert to Islam but before he could act on that, he was killed.
This entire chain of events points to one conclusion: Nagaraju was murdered because he was a Hindu who married the partner of his choice, the partner he loved, a Muslim.
It is interesting, but not surprising, that The Hindu has quoted a scholar who ‘believes’ that this murder is motivated by caste and that religion has little or no role in this case. The publication quoted retired university professor G. Laxman as saying, “More than religion, it was the perception of feeling humiliated that a woman had married a Dalit that led to this.”
Ludicrous to find, The Hindu has quoted an oblivious professor who believes the murder is related to caste and refuses to acknowledge what the victim of the hatred has said. Sulthana, Nagaraju’s wife, has repeatedly maintained that her husband was murdered because he was Hindu and married a Muslim. Their marriage was not acceptable to their family, so they fled to marry. It is in neither way justified to assume the motive behind a crime and repudiate the testimony of the victims.
Watering down the specifics of an Islamic hate crime does not do justice to the victim. Sulthana lost her spouse because her family considered it a crime for her to marry the man of her choice because he was a Hindu, a Kafir according to Islamic scriptures. Her brother’s intention to murder her husband was evident from the outset when they married against her family’s wishes.
An endeavour like The Hindu’s is also not new, since they have been engaging in such revisionist activities for a long time. This demonstrates a deep-seated refusal to accept and confront reality. Such tactics seek to sell a story, willingly or unwillingly, to provide a safe road to a specific section to maintain their hate of the other community in some way or the other.