National-level kho-kho player Babli Rani (24) was strangled to death in Bijnor, UP last Friday by railway labourer Shahzad (26) after she resisted his attempt to rape her.
Babli, from a Hindu SC community and resident of Sarvodaya Colony near the Bijnor railway station, was going home around noon while talking to her friend over the phone when the incident took place. She would often take a short cut across the railway tracks where piles of sleepers (cement blocks placed on tracks) were kept.
Shahzad, who also goes by Khadim, had been stalking her for some time and knew she took this deserted route. That day he was waiting for her and tried to drag her away to rape her. But she resisted, so he strangled her to death. Shahzad is married and has a 2-month-old daughter.
Babli’s screams and cries for help were recorded in a chilling audio clip her friend later shared with the police. The friend informed a neighbour who discovered Babli’s body. Shahzad is believed to have taken the phone with him as it was last traced to his village, Adampur. Police have recovered lot of other evidence from his home, and are confident they will soon recover Babli’s mobile too.
Bijnor SP Dharamveer Singh said at a press briefing that during interrogation, Shahzad confessed to his crime. “There were injury marks on his body which he may have got during the struggle,” the SP added. Shahzad’s father Khaleel, meanwhile, sat in protest outside the Bijnor police station demanding his son’s release.
Naturally gifted at sports, Babli excelled in kho-kho. After graduation, she was pursuing a B.P.Ed (Bachelor of Physical Education) degree, while also teaching in school as a sports teacher. She leaves behind a grief-stricken mother, father (laborer in a sugar mill) and elder sister.
The bias, propaganda and selective outrage which has become the hallmark of Lutyens’ media and left-liberal-secular politicians and activists, is clearly evident in this case too.
Babli belonged to a Hindu SC community, yet the self-appointed Dalit messiahs like Bhim Army were nowhere to be seen once the murderer turned out be a Muslim. Also missing was the outrage and intensity shown by our English-language media in milking cases like the Hathras tragedy or Rohit Vemula’s suicide. When Babli’s body was first found, Times of India mentioned her SC identity. But after Shahzad’s arrest, the subsequent TOI report makes no mention of her community identity, and even casts aspersion on the police.
But unmindful of these secular-liberal games, Babli’s tearful mother Geeta has just this plaintive cry, “Somebody bring my daughter back.”
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