The Indian community in Libya is in a state of shock over the cold-blooded murder of a fellow national in Ajdabiya, nearly 200 kilometers to the west of Benghazi.
The tragic incident happened on December 6, 2013 when the victim, Dr Mohammad Nejamuddin, was taking a rest in his flat. An extortionistremotely known to the victim barged into his house and demanded a hefty sum of Dinar from him.
Upon refusal, Dr Mohammad Nejamuddin was badly beaten and then murdered by a sharp knife. He was declared dead before he could be brought to the hospital.
The incident has caused a feeling of insecurity among Indians in Libya, particularly among the community of teachers, for the victim, Dr. Mohammad Nejamuddin, was a lecturer of English by profession in the University of Benghazi.
The deceased was living alone in a flat behind the college campus. He hailed from the state of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad. He is survived by a wife and a daughter.
Interestingly, Dr Nejamuddin had the courage to stay back in Libya when civil war had erupted. He was a witness to the bloody revolution in 2011 that ousted Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He escaped unhurt despite facing all hardships and threats.
The murder is not the first of its kind in the post-revolution era in Libya. In fact, killing and extortion have become a norm of the day in the country. Not a single day passes when the local news is not filled with incidents of such violence.
However, the murder of a foreign national, particularly an Indian, is a matter of surprise to all. It never happened before with an Indian immigrant.
But the lack of security on the ground in Libya is open to all sorts of eventualities. Just a few days back, an American teacher, working in an international school in Benghazi, was shot dead while he was out on a morning walk.
With the rising numbers of incidents and no end of instability in sight, a sense of frustration and exhaustion seems to dominate the conscience of foreign nationals in Libya.
The Indian embassy in Libya has already identified the zones of conflict and has advised Indian nationals to be cautious in roaming around freely.
It has also helped Indians form a committee in all major cities in Libya and be in tune with the embassy in time of need through its representatives and coordinators.
The deadly incidents as such are neither the end of the revolutionary fervor in Libya, nor are they the end of the state building process. Rather, they pose a severe setback to the statehood of Libya as a free and democratic nation.