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Rakbar’s family now stare at a bleak future

Aslam, who survived the attack in Alwar. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Rakbar, 31, had never been to school, and he reared cattle and worked hard as a part-time labourer in a stone quarry to sustain his family of nine, including seven children.

His brutal lynching in Alwar on Friday has devastated the family which now faces an uncertain future, deprived of the sole breadwinner.

“He somehow managed to make ends meet. But after he is gone, there is no one to feed his family. His wife, Asmina, is also illiterate and the eldest of the couple’s children is a girl aged just 12. The youngest is only a year old,” said his uncle Multan. Rakbar, remembered by his friends as “social” and “kind”, got married at the age of just 13.

Deprived community

As most of the fellow villagers in Kolgaon, Rakbar reared cattle and supplied milk to big dairies in the area.

“He could not even afford to buy buffaloes that cost over a lakh. So he kept four or five cows that cost around ₹30,000 each,” Multan said.

Mohammad Yusuf, another relative, chipped in that Asmina, with seven children, did not even stand a chance at remarriage.

“Why would anyone accept her? Neither she nor her children are eligible for any job as well.

Devastating news: Relatives and villagers sitting outside Rakbar’s house at Kolgaon in Haryana’s Nuh district.

Devastating news: Relatives and villagers sitting outside Rakbar’s house at Kolgaon in Haryana’s Nuh district.   | Photo Credit: Ashok Kumar

 

The family is completely devastated with one stroke of fate,” he said.

Rakbar’s father, Suleman, had six children from two marriages and he also reared cattle and goats for a livelihood. “Both Rakbar's brothers, Ilyas, 35, and Sameen, 25, are daily-wagers. Suleman could not afford to send any of his children to school because of poverty, and now Rakbar’s children face the same future,” said Rakbar’s uncle Mohammad Umar.

Aslam, who accompanied Rakbar to Khanpur to transport cows, also works as labourer in stone quarries. He survived the attack managing to hide from the assailants in the dark.

“It is difficult to believe that Rakbar is more more. All the more painful is the fact that he was killed for no fault of his. We knew each other since childhood,” said Aslam.

Most of the families in the village of around 600 households rear cattle and work in stone quarries .

A third of the houses in the village belong to Hindus.

“With just 2-3% Hindus in Nuh, we never harm them. In fact, the people from both communities live in harmony and attend weddings and other functions in each other’s houses. But when we step out of Nuh, we are treated as if we do not belong to this country,” lamented Feroz, a local resident.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 5:37:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rakbars-family-now-stare-at-a-bleak-future/article24489413.ece

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