The ghastly murder of 23-year-old photographer Ankit Saxena on a busy street in Delhi’s Raghubir Nagar last week not only exposed the ugly side of humanity but also showed inter-faith relationships remain a taboo in the country.
Despite constant requests from the Ankit's family to not communalise his death, several trolls on the internet have spewed venom provoking tension between the Hindu and Muslim community. A Facebook page even put out a list of inter-faith couples asking Hindus to step up and attack the boys.
Other than Saxena’s alleged girlfriend, even his friends who belonged to the Muslim community have faced the heat on the internet.
MD Azhar, a 21-year-old friend of deceased photographer, alleged that he found posts on Facebook with his face encircled in pictures with Saxena – clicked at a mosque – and various hate comments under it. He added that Saxena’s family and others in the West Delhi locality lived in harmony despite sharing different religious identities.
"I accompanied Ankit’s father to Haridwar where his last rites were performed. His father made me perform the rituals like others in his family did." - MD Azhar
Saxena’s friends also told The Quint that they celebrated every festival with equal zest.
Days after the murder, several units of paramilitary and the CRPF are still deployed in West Delhi’s Khayala and adjoining areas in a bid to curb any communal tension, should violence erupts. Security personnel were stationed at Saxena’s house, as well as the house of the young woman in question – a few hundred metres away.
Saxena’s family is firm on their demand for speedy justice.
"We just want to see the culprits get maximum sentencing for their act so that no other family has to suffer like we did." - Ashish Duggal, Ankit Saxena’s cousin
Saxena was beaten and stabbed to death in public view, reportedly by his alleged Muslim girlfriend’s family on 1 February. Eyewitness claim that the girl’s mother used road rage as a pretext to ram her scooter into the 23-year-old’s car, to get him out of the vehicle before he was fatally attacked.
All the three accused in the case – the girl’s parents and her maternal uncle – have been arrested by Delhi Police, while the girl’s minor brother has been apprehended.
Delhi police said that the woman has been moved to Nari Niketan from her house after she alleged on video that there was a threat to her life from members of her family.
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam
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