Three months after the Tabrez Ansari lynching case, which shook the conscience of the nation, Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Jharkhand once again witnessed a case of mob lynching on Sunday, September 22. A differently-abled tribal man was killed and two others were seriously injured when a mob allegedly thrashed them on suspicion of slaughtering a cow, in Khunti district of Jharkhand, police confirmed on Monday.
The incident happened on Sunday after rumours spread in Jaltand Suari village of Khunti district that three tribal men — Kalantus Barla, Philip Horo and Phagu Kachchap had slaughtered a cow. Soon after, a mob attacked them and beat them up. All three were rushed to a local hospital before being taken to Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) in Ranchi. Barla died on the way to the hospital, while Kachchap and Horo under treatment at RIMS, as per reports.
"Five persons have been detained and a preliminary investigation has found their involvement in the incident. The process of identification is on. During the inspection of the spot, police did not find any carcass but there was evidence that the persons were beaten up by the mob. However, no arrests have been made so far," DIG Amol Venukat Homkar was quoted as saying by PTI.
Also read: Six Mob Lynched In Jharkhand Allegedly For Being Child-Lifters
In a similar case of mob lynching, Tabrez Ansari was lynched on the night of June 17 in Seraikela-Kharsawan district of Jharkhand on suspicion of theft. He was tied to an electric pole and was not only beaten mercilessly but was even forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram'. He worked as a welder in Pune and had returned home to Jharkhand to celebrate Eid with family and get married. The incident took a u-turn after Jharkhand Police had dropped the murder charges against the 13 accused of lynching Ansari because the post-mortem report said he died of a cardiac arrest. Later after global condemnation and protests across the country, the police was forced to invoke the murder charges.
21 PEOPLE HAVE DIED DUE TO MOB VIOLENCE IN 3 YEARS IN JHARKHAND
Jharkhand is leading in terms of having the highest number of mob lynching cases in India. According to available data, the reasons for lynching include – cattle transportation, alleged beef-eating and child-lifting in the name of witch-craft practice. With Kalantus Barla's killing, at least 21 cases have been reported in the last three years from the state. Three incidents have been reported in September alone. As per the Adivasi Yuva Morcha, at least six-seven cases of mob lynching took place in the state this year.
Tanweer Ahmad of the United Milli Forum, an organisation working on hate crimes against minorities in the state, said that the village where the incident took place has seen the deployment of massive police forces and no outsider or fact-finding team is allowed to visit the village. "We are in touch with an Adivasi organisation in the neighbouring village. We will also visit the affected area as soon as they allow,” he told NewsClick.
Also read: Jharkhand: 5 Mob Lynching Cases Amid Child-Lifting Rumours in A Day, One Dies
Arun Nagesia, secretary of Adivasi Yuva Morcha based in Ranchi, told NewsClick, "No one is allowed to visit the village where the incident took place but what I have heard from the villagers over phone that leaders of the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] and Mahto community were leading the mob in the lynching. The is aggressively promoting its Hindutva idea in the tribal areas, and terrorising the Adivasis. Even though tribals are a majority in Khunti district, especially in Jaltand where the incident took place, but ever since BJP has come to power, they regularly organise religious assemblies (Dharm Sabha). They tell people in these assemblies that Hindu dharm khatre me hai (Hindu religion in danger) and harass the Adivasis.”