Mariyam Khatoon sits restless – trying to be patient while fretting over the circumstances and consequences of her husband Alimuddin Ansari’s brutal end.
Fifty-six-year-old Alimuddin of Manua village in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district found himself surrounded by an enraged mob of at least 10 at Sanichar Bazar in Ramgarh town on Thursday morning.
He was accosted by a frenzied mob who suspected Ansari was carrying beef in his car.
Today, five days after the lynching, Mariyam, who has no other means to earn a livelihood, has fallen back on a threat to immolate herself if the district administration does not mete out justice.
The Bajrang Dal killed my husband, she says.
The punishment should be that severe that these Bajrang Dal members never have the courage to raise a hand on another soul. They should think 10 times before they do anything like this.
Alimuddin Didn’t Die on the Spot
Rather than a spontaneous expression of anger, the lynching was premeditated as everything transpired fast enough to cause irreparable damage.
They knew the registration number of his vehicle. They knew too that he was returning with a quantity of meat. They also knew the route he would take to return to Manua.Kishore Kaushal, SP, Ramgarh
Oblivious of what was to come Ansari was suddenly intercepted by men who pulled him out of his white Maruti van and began kicking and beating him with sticks. The frenzied crowd set his car on fire and made a ring around him, injuring him grievously.
After the police reached Sanichar bazar town where Ansari was, they took him to the police station first.
Ansari’s bruises were internal, we couldn’t see them. The thana is on the way to the hospital, so the police stopped to get more force as there were only two people accompanying Ansari. We wanted more policemen to escort him to the hospital.
This entire ordeal took at least 25 minutes.
According to the police Alimuddin died on the way to the hospital.
‘Eroding Faith In the Police’
The family’s distrust towards the police was palpable.
His eldest daughter, 23-year-old Samma Parveen, gave birth to her second daughter a month ago and is still recovering from surgery. In that condition, she travelled from Calcutta to Ramgarh to tend to her family in time of distress.
On the evening of her father’s death, Samma said 600 women from the village had gathered to refuse to take his body from the police in spite of repeated requests.
When the police came back for the third time on the evening of his death, the family agreed to take the body back out of exhaustion. “We took the body back due to the pressure of everyone around us,” Samma said.
Friday morning they buried him in a kabristan half a kilometre from their house. Hundreds attended the funeral, from Manua and nearby villages. Most of the attendees were Muslims.
Samma points to her 14-year-old brother, Shahbaz Ansari. When his family told him about his father’s death he was on a scooter, and fell in shock. He has hurt himself on his arm and chin. Ansari tries to talk about his father, but breaks down in tears.
Inspector Kamlesh Paswan from Ramgarh police station said they’ve deployed men across sensitive areas of the district. “There are men in Manua village, the cremation grounds, the local temple and Sanichar bazaar,” Paswan said.
Section 144 was imposed on all districts of Ramgarh on Friday, disallowing more than 4 persons from gathering anywhere.
However in Manua village, unrest is incontestable.
On Police Apathy
The community echoes how Muslims are being targeted, not only in Jharkhand but across the country, and police are indifferent.
One major grudge Ansari’s family holds against the police is that a police baton surfaced in videos of the mob lynching.
The police said the matter was under investigation.
Until and unless the person who has been shown using the baton is arrested, we can’t establish where he got the baton from. We don’t know if it was surely a police stick or not as of now.Kishore Kaushal, SP, Ramgarh
Numbers of Arrests Rises to 10
Ten arrests have been made in total of which five persons were named in the FIR; Santosh Singh, Chhotu Rana, local BJP leader Nityanand Mahato, Deepak Mishra and Chhotu Verma. The other five persons have been arrested on the basis of evidence. “There role is apparent due to the evidence collected by our investigation teams,” SP Kishore Kaushal said.
The Muslim community in Ramgarh has come together and rallied behind Ansari’s family to call for an end towards attacks on the Muslim community.
We are trusting the police and establishment to arrest the accused and give in to our demands, we hope they don’t let us down.Mariyam Khatoon