26 April 2006 JAIPUR — The lone Muslim minister in the Rajasthan government has landed himself in trouble for organising a ‘death feast’.
A local court has ordered an enquiry against the state’s Transport Minister, Yunus Khan, who has been accused of organising a death feast (post-death lunch ceremony) on the death of his father in the Sikar district a year ago (May 26, 2005).
More than 1,500 people, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and senior ministers of her cabinet, attended the feast.
Taking cognizance of a petition filed by Kailash Meena, an activist of civil rights organisation People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), the Lakshmangarh court in Sikar district, has directed the district’s additional superintendent of police to conduct an enquiry into the matter and submit a report in a month. According to a state law, participation of more than 100 people in such ceremonies is considered an offence.
Enquiry has also been ordered against 23 others named in the petition. If found guilty, the accused may be sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and a fine of Rs1,000. According to the petition, more than 1,500 people attended the death feast and the lawyer of the petitioner presented the CD of the function to the court to prove his point.
The lawyer said despite such blatant violation of the law, the state government did not take any action.
Former federal minister Shahnawaz Khan, state Forest Minister Lakshmi Narayan Dave and Minister of State for Education Vasudev Devnani had also attended the function.