JAIPUR: A 44 year old man Zafar Khan was reportedly beaten to death by muncipality employees in Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district on Friday morning as he tried to stop them from taking photographs of Muslim women who had come out of their homes to relieve themselves as they had no toilets.

This comes over two months after a dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was killed by cow vigilantes in Alwar district.

Local sources said that Pratapgarh, bordering Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, is part of a communally sensitive belt. Reports suggest that the women were stopped by a group of municipality employees who allegedly started taking photographs of the women.

Zafar Khan, a resident of Kacchi Basti, Mahtab Shah Colony in Pratapgarh protested and the employees started beating him mercilessly. According to local reports he died on the spot. He was then taken to the city hospital where he was declared dead.

Locals, quoted in a section of the media, said that the Commissioner of the Municipal Board was present but did not try to stop the employees or get help.

The family and neighbours gathered at the hospital and demanded the assailants be arrested. Khan’s brotehr Noor Muhammad has filed an FIR under Section 302 in which he has said that the middle aged man was beaten and kicked by the employees and the Commissioner. There is tension now in the area with a large deployment of armed police to keep the peace. This is the latest lynching reported from Rajasthan with Pratapgarh at a distance of 400 km or so from Jaipur.

Locals told the media that Zafar Khan had submitted a memorandum to the local authorities asking for funds for construction of toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, where he had also pointed out that the public toilet was in a state of disrepair.

No one has been arrested yet. Khan lived in a slum, and was a labourer.

(Photograph Courtesy IndiaTomorrow of Zafar Khan inset, and family and relatives at the hospital)