Family of Dubai resident lynched in India cry for justice
Shahrukh Khan’s family appeals for punishment of attackers who severely beat him up that led to his death in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh
Dubai: The family of Shahrukh Khan, a Dubai resident who became the victim of a terrible lynching on Tuesday night that led to his death on Wednesday, August 29, is appealing for justice.
Speaking exclusively to Gulf News from their hometown of Thiriya Nizawat Khan, a small town in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh state, Shahrukh’s older brother Firoze Khan said: “My brother was beaten so brutally that his heart and kidney ruptured, filling up so much blood in his abdominal cavity that he just gave up on life. I have his post-mortem report to prove it. He was only 17, and such a gentle soul, kind, helpful and generous. He would never think of stealing anything from anyone, let alone a buffalo. He has given a dying declaration and named the people who attacked him. We hope the Indian government will act swiftly and deliver justice. We have lost a loving brother and our family’s breadwinner.”
Shahrukh worked in Dubai as an embroiderer and was on a visit back home for Eid Al Adha, when he had gone out with friends to Bholapur Hindoliya, the neighbouring village. A mob attacked their group, accusing them of stealing a buffalo. Shahrukh, unable to escape, was thrashed badly. He died later in hospital of severe haemorrhaging.
The family lodged a First Information Report (FIR) at the Cantonment Police Station in Bareilly. “All the people of our town, our relatives and even the police constables working on the case have promised us every support. Now it remains to be seen if we, the people, are only vote banks or if this government will punish these people who murdered my brother,” said the distraught Firoze, who had worked in Saudi Arabia for some time.
Bareilly: Man dead after being thrashed for allegedly stealing cattle. SP says, ‘locals handed over a group of people to police on suspicion of cattle robbery. Condition of these people was not good & so they were admitted to district hospital, where this person died.’ (29.08.18) pic.twitter.com/xj7UkFrRvf
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 30, 2018
He also revealed that his deceased brother had been a minor, just a teenager. “Shahrukh actually put his age as 20 on the passport, in order to find work abroad. We are extremely poor and have two young sisters to be married off. My father is too old and feeble and my brothers and I are uneducated and only know embroidery work. We struggle to make a living,” Firoze said.
Shahrukh, who was also called “Sher Khan” or “Shera” endearingly, was a sensitive boy. “He could never see anyone sad. If he ever saw us pensive, he would do everything he could to make us happy or smile. He was skilled at hand embroidering abayas and niqabs,” his brother recalled.
It was the teenager’s eagerness to lift the family out of poverty that motivated him to find a job in Dubai. “In his eagerness to help us, Shahrukh got a passport made with his age as 20, so he could go abroad and earn money. He never lived in this village; he was always travelling to Mumbai, Surat or Delhi to work and support his family. When he had saved up, he paid a lot of money to get his passport done and flew to Dubai on a visit visa,” Firoze said.
In Dubai, the youngster initially faced a lot of hardships and had to return within two months. He then paid off the loans taken for the visa and travel expenses, and managed to save a small amount again. “My brother then travelled to Surat. He worked hard, doing embroidery and beadwork, saved money and flew back to Dubai three months ago. This time, he had spoken to the right people and was confident of getting a two-year work visa. Then, he returned to Bareilly for the Eid holiday. He paid off the visa and ticket money with his savings and got us so many gifts. He was set to return after Eid, on a work visa. It’s a tragedy that my brother, who hardly ever lived in his ancestral village, came back only to die here.”
Now, the distressed family are focused on educating their youngest child and brother, Zulfikar, aged 14. “We were not able to help get our family out of poverty. Shahrukh was the one who could have done that. Now, all our hopes are pinned on our youngest sibling, Zulfikar,” said an overwhelmed Firoze.