Ranchi: A Muslim youth who was beaten up by a group of people in Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharsawan district last week died in a hospital, allegedly succumbing to his injuries, four days later. The police, however, feigned ignorance about the cause of the death of Tabrej Ansari, of Kharsawan, but said it will be known after receipt of the autopsy report.
Villagers in Dhaktidih allegedly caught Ansari allegedly while he was trying to lift a motorcycle. “Two of Ansari’s accomplices fled the scene,” Superintendent of Police Karthik S told reporters. “It is a fact that he was ill-treated by a few villagers. On receipt of information, the police went to the spot and took him in custody along with the motorcycle.”
Ansari was accused of attempting to steal the vehicle, and he was produced in a court which sent him to judicial custody. According to the police, Ansari fell sick Saturday and was hospitalised. He died in hospital, they said.
“It was reported that Amsari died in hospital. But he actually died in police custody due to inhuman treatment,” claimed Afzal Anis, activist and Jharkhand state coordinator of Aman Biradri, a local outfit that works for communal harmony.
Videos of the assault soon went viral on social media. Ansari’s family members went to the police with the videos after his death, based on which an FIR was registered. The complainant was Ansari’s wife Shaista Parveen. On the basis of the videos, the police arrested a villager, Pappu Mandal, and named 100 unidentified persons in their FIR. “He has been arrested on charges of murder and rioting,” said the police personnel.
According to the FIR, the mob also forced Ansari to recite Jai Shri Ram and Jai Hanuman.
However, the police said Pappu Mandal did not belong to any particular Hindu outfit such as the Bajrang Dal or VHP. Superintendent of police Karthik S declined to comment on Ansari being forced to chant the slogans. “I have not seen any of those videos,” he said, adding the situation here is peaceful. Ansari’s wife accused the police of not providing her husband proper treatment even though he had sustained injuries in the head. His uncle Maksud Ansari alleged the villagers had murdered his nephew and accused the police of delaying action against the persecutors.
He claimed that Ansari died in jail but prison officials sent him to a hospital to save themselves. He demanded action against jail and police authorities.
The news of Ansari’s death came on the day the Ministry of External Affairs rejected an official report released by the US suggesting mob attacks by “violent Hindu groups” against minority communities, particularly Muslims, continued in India in 2018.