Patil asserts Rai's killing not a hate crime

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Mumbai, Oct 29 (UNI) A day after a 25-year-old migrant labourer from Uttar Pradesh, Dharamdev Rai was beaten to death by a group of Marathi-speaking men on a Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus bound-local at Khopali station, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil asserted the incident was not a hate crime against North Indian migrants and announced a compensation of Rs two lakh to the family of the victim.

Under pressure from the Centre to submit a report on the incident, Mr Patil said the state government owns responsibility of protecting migrants and assured of stringent action against the culprits. He was in Latur and interacting with reporters there. A case of rioting has been registered by the Railway police against a dozen people at the Karjat police station.

The labourer, along with three fellow workers--all employees of a factory in Khopali--had boarded the local train for Kurla station, from where they were scheduled to depart for their native place by the Kushinagar Express from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus yesterday.

According to his colleagues, the group of Marathi-speaking people beat up all of them, slapping and kicking them, and eventually got down at Karjat station. One of the deceased's colleague rang up the Railway Protection Force personnel, who boarded the train at Badlapur and rushed Rai to a hospital, where he was declared dead.

A post mortem report has revealed that the labourer died of a punctured liver, police said today.

The other labourers, Vijendra Ramkripa Rai (35), Satyaprakash Kaushal Rai and Shiv Kumar Verma (both 25) sustained minor injuries.

Security has been beefed up on local and long distance trains, Railway police chief K P Raghuvanshi told UNI here.

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