Devji Maheshwari

Devji Maheshwari was stabbed to death on 25 September, 2020, in Rapar town in Kutch, just days after he had a heated argument with the accused Bharat Raval, 22, over social media posts which Raval thought were critical of the Brahmin community.

On the evening of 25 September, 2020, Raval was seen on cc TV footage standing outside Maheshwari’s office. The footage shows Maheshwari entering his office and Raval following him. A few minutes Raval is seen running out before Meheshwari appears with blood on his shirt.

Maheshwari was a senior activist of the All India Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMCEF), and a respected Dalit rights activist. Senior police officials said that Raval confessed that he was angry with Maheshwari over social media posts that showed the Brahmin community “in a poor light”.

The victim’s family members and relatives have questioned the police findings, alleging that there was a larger conspiracy at play and that the suspect, Bharat Raval, worked with eight others involved in a land dispute who wanted to get rid the lawyer.

The family maintains that Maheshwari was killed for taking up a case related to a land dispute between two different communities in the town. They said that no lawyer was willing to take up the matter because they were afraid of being attacked by one of the groups and that Maheshwari became a target when he took up the case.

Maheshwari’s wife, Minaxi, refused to accept her husband’s body until all accused were arrested. A further six people have since been arrested.

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Date of Killing:25/09/2020

Type of Work:Lawyer

Organisation:All India Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights

Sector Detail:Citizens' rights, Minority Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

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