A horrific video that had gone viral in India in early December, showing a man from Rajasthan state hacking a Muslim labourer to death, was filmed to raise money, police said. The accused also allegedly wanted to become a "Hindu hero" after committing the hate crime.
Shambhu Lal Regar, had allegedly hacked the migrant labour to death with an axe before setting his body on fire. Regar allegedly killed the Muslim man, identified as Afrazul, accusing him of being a jihadist and had said in the video that he would not hesitate to kill more jihadists in future.
Police said on Thursday (14 December) that Regar has been arrested on suspicion of the crime. He had made the video of the gruesome attack with the help of his 14-year-old nephew to apparently raise money for a campaign against the minority Muslims.
With the footage, which was mainly circulated on WhatsApp, Regar had also shared his account details and received 300,000 rupees ($4,665, £3,473) from more than 700 people across India, investigating police officer Anand Shrivastava said.
"The accused wanted to become a Hindu hero after killing a Muslim man, his main aim was to collect money after committing the hate crime," Shrivastava told Reuters.
Local media reported that authorities have frozen Regar and his wife's bank accounts after nearly 516 donors transferred Rs2,75,000 to cover Regar's legal expenses. In that connection, two businessmen were arrested for allegedly circulating images on social media of receipts acknowledging their donations.
The disturbing video began circulating on 6 December and went viral within hours before authorities took it down. The victim was a labourer from the eastern Indian state of West Bengal who worked near the area where he was killed.
In the clip, after killing the man, Regar is heard saying, "Those who support or are part of this 'Love Jihad' will be met with the same fate," referring to a term widely used by Indian right-wing Hindu groups.
The groups call Love Jihad an Islamist conspiracy when Muslim men and boys force girls belonging to non-Muslim communities to convert to Islam by professing love and promising marriage. However, police don't believe Regar knew the victim.
Afrazul's half-burnt body was found on 7 December and following which Regar was arrested. His minor nephew was also arrested as police said he was the one who shot the video.