Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
Video Producer: Furqan Faridi
A 24-year-old man, named Tabrez Ansari, was allegedly beaten for hours on suspicion of stealing a motorcycle and is seen in a purported video being forced to chant "Jai Shri Ram" and "Jai Hanuman," died on Saturday, 22 June.
Almost a week after the incident, Jharkhand Food Minister Saryu Rai on 27 June, said it "stray" incident and steps will be taken to ensure such crime does not occur.
“When such incidents occur, we need to accept that there is some shortcoming. We have to address this gap collectively. The law and order should improve and that would be our endeavour.”Saryu Rai, Jharkhand Food Minister
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE INCIDENT
Tabrez Ansari, along with two other friends, was returning home to Saraikela from Jamshedpur on 18 June, when a mob attacked them on the suspicion of stealing a motorcycle, Ansari’s relative told ANI.
The incident reportedly happened 5 km away from Tabrez’s home.
"There, a motorcycle theft had taken place and these people were passing by... so the villagers caught them and then beat him up very badly. There were two friends with him who ran away," the relative said.
WHAT ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN?
Eleven people were arrested in connection with the case, and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been set up to look into the death of Tabrez Ansari. The SIT will submit its report to the home secretary and the chief secretary by 26 June, reported NDTV.
Two police personnel were also suspended in connection with the incident. They were officers-in-charge of Kharaswan and Sini police stations, sources told PTI.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
After he was beaten, Tabrez was handed over to the Jharkhand Police and was sent to Saraikela jail.
However, three days after his arrest, the 24-year old was rushed to the Saraikela Sadar (district) Hospital after he complained of “uneasiness.”
On 22 June, a day after he was moved to the district hospital, Tabrez was referred to Tata Hospital in Jamshedpur after his health further deteriorated.
He was declared dead upon arrival at the Tata hospital.
WHAT ARE THE VICTIM’S RELATIVES ALLEGING?
Tabrez’s uncle, Marsood Alam, refuted reports of his father also being killed in mob violence about 15 years ago. Alam also refuted claims that Tabrez’s father was murdered over a dispute with his friends.
“I refute such reports.”Marsood Alam, Tabrez’s Uncle
Tabrez’s relatives alleged that the police did not allow them to see him at the Saraikela police station.
A relative of Tabrez, Maqsood Alam, told ANI that he was beaten because he had a Muslim name.
“He was suspected of theft but this was a communal crime. They made him chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’ again and again. I demand the culprits be arrested.”Maqsood Alam, Cousin
The family also alleged that police should be held accountable for neglecting his health condition. "The ones who neglected is health condition should be booked under IPC Section 302 (Punishment for murder). The government should also provide compensation and a job to his wife," the relative said.
Tabrez’s wife, whom he had reportedly married merely one-and-half months ago, further spoke to ANI and demanded justice for her husband.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT POLICE NEGLIGENCE?
The FIR registered by the police does not find any mention of the assault on Tabrez, according to The Indian Express.
Further, Tabrez’s “confession statement” recorded by the Jharkhand police too did not have any mention of the assault, reported the daily.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the Superintendent of Police said: “There is also a possibility that Tabrez did not say anything to the police on the beating during his confession.”
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT IT?
BJP State Spokesperson Pratul Shah Deo on Tuesday, 25 June, accused the Congress and other Opposition parties of politicising Tabrez’s lynching and claimed that the state government has "zero tolerance" for such incidents.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, termed the incident a "blot on humanity" and said the "silence" of powerful voices in the BJP-ruled central and state governments on the incident is shocking.
General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sitaram Yechury too questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the incident.
Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan also remarked saying, “is this the New India?”
“Mobs given free rein by police to torture and kill at will? No accountability or rule of law?,” he asked in his tweet.
Activist Kavita Krishnan asked if “this blood-drenched slaughterhouse, then, my country?”
Commenting on the incident, Jharkhand Youth Congress tweeted, “New Jharkhand and New India in making,” with a hashtag #JharkhandBachao.
A CPI (M) delegation met the family of Ansari and demanded the a compensation of 25 lakh should be provided by the government. The delegation also sought strict action against the culprits.
Delhi Waqf Board chairman and AAP lawmaker Amanatullah Khan had also said the panel will give Rs 5 lakh and a job to the wife of the 24-year-old victim.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)