INLD leader’s horrific murder: Possible motive revealed in accused list

| Updated: 26 February, 2024 5:41 pm IST
INLD leader Nafe Singh Rathi. (Image credit: X)

NEW DELHI: One year before the fatal shooting of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Nafe Singh Rathi in Haryana’s Jhajjar district, he faced allegations of encouraging the suicide of a BJP leader. Now, Rathi’s family alleges that relatives of the BJP leader orchestrated the assassination plot against the INLD leader.

In January of the previous year, Jagdish Rathi, a BJP leader from Bahadurgarh, took his own life. Jagdish, the son of former Haryana minister Mange Ram Nambardar, had released an audio recording days before his suicide.

In the recording, he mentioned several individuals, including Rathi, alleging that they forcibly took over their shop in 2019 and threatened to seize their ancestral land and house as well. While a case was filed against Rathi and others, the court granted him anticipatory bail.

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Presently, the accused in the murder of the INLD leader include Gaurav, the son of Jagdish Rathi, and Satish, his brother. Moreover, BJP leader Narendra Kaushik and three relatives of Saroj Rathi, the chairperson of the Bahadurgarh municipal corporation, are also among those accused. The charges against them include murder and criminal conspiracy, as well as violations of the Arms Act.

As per a report by NDTV, Jitendra Rathi has said that they had been alerted to the fact that the INLD leader and his family members were being targeted. “I was also under watch. I stopped going to the gym. My brothers were followed. Several attempts were made to target my father but God protected him, but the killer needs only one opportunity,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV.

Jitendra further mentioned that Rathi had met with the district police chief and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to request security protection. “He had sent written applications to everyone, including the DGP, CID, principal secretary, and the Home Ministry, seeking security for our family. But they kept denying our request. So, the state government is also involved in the conspiracy behind my father’s killing,” he alleged.

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Rathi, who served as the head of INLD in Haryana, was on his way back to his residence in Bahadurgarh when the assault occurred. His SUV came to a halt near a railway crossing, at which point a car approached, and five gunmen opened fire on him and the occupants of the SUV. While Rathi and one of his companions were fatally wounded, two others sustained severe injuries.

The Manohar Lal Khattar administration has faced criticism following the shooting incident. INLD leader Abhay Chautala has stated that Rathi had requested security protection multiple times, yet it was not provided.

“Not a single culprit involved in this case will be spared. Police have been instructed to arrest the accused as soon as possible and take the strictest action,” Chief Minister Khattar said yesterday.

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