Seraikela-Kharsawan (J’khand): Five persons were arrested Monday in connection with the death of a 24-year-old man, who was thrashed by a mob for alleged theft and seen in a purported video being forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’, police said.
A special investigation team (SIT) has been set up to look into the death of Tabrez Ansari, who was declared ‘brought dead’ by doctors at the Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur, June 22, they added.
Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Karthik S said June 17, Ansari and two others had entered a house in Seraikela village at night allegedly with an intention to commit theft.
However, the occupants of the house woke up and raised an alarm, following which villagers caught hold of Ansari and ‘manhandled’ him, while his accomplices managed to flee, the SP told reporters. Ansari was found to be in possession of valuables, which he and his associates had allegedly stolen from other villages, the officer said.
Police reached the spot in the morning and took Ansari to jail on the basis of a complaint from villagers, after administering first aid to him. However, when his condition deteriorated in jail on the same day, he was taken to the Sadar Hospital, where he was diagnosed with multiple injuries, the SP said. He was subsequently referred to the Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur.
Earlier, the police had said Ansari was tied to a pole and beaten up with sticks through the night. The video in question, circulated widely on social media platforms, was handed over to the police by Ansari’s family members. “The authenticity of the video is being investigated,” said the SP.
“We are looking into all angles. Ansari’s family members mentioned about some unidentified miscreants in their complaint. Based on that, we have already arrested three persons, including a man named Papu Mandal,” added Karthik.
Ansari’s wife, Shaista Praveen, has accused the police of taking the deceased to jail first, instead of a hospital. “The police should have taken him to a hospital, instead of arresting him and sending him to jail,” Praveen, who recently got married to Ansari, has said in her complaint.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress said it had formed a seven-member team to probe the incident.
“We demand Rs 25 lakh as compensation to the family of the victim and a job for his wife,” a Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (JPCC) member said.
The incident has triggered angry reactions from various political parties across the country.
“Tabrez Ansari was lynched to death in BJP-ruled Jharkhand. A Hindu mob thrashed him ruthlessly because he refused to chant ‘Jai Sri Ram’. Is this NDA 2.0’s New India? Yeh kaunsa tareeka hai sabka vishwas jeetnay ka (what kind of a process is this to win everyone’s trust?,” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in a tweet.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and MP Asaduddin Owaisi said such incidents now followed a familiar pattern.
“This is the pattern with almost all lynchings. First, a Muslim is murdered by cow lovers. Then the most ridiculous excuses begin: a ‘suspicion’ of beef possession, theft, smuggling & love jihad. So much for sabka vishwas when we can be killed over mere ‘suspicions’,” he said in a tweet.