The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probing the death of Minhaz Ansari – who had died following his arrest over his picture with meat shared on WhatsApp – has revealed on Tuesday that he was beaten to death by the police inside the jail, and it was a custodial death.
Ansari, a resident of Dighari village in Jamtara district in Jharkhand was arrested for allegedly sharing a picture of himself with meat in WhatsApp group on October 2, 2016. Soon after sharing the message was shared, a Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) office-bearer named Sonu Singh from Jamtara had alleged that it was beef, and had informed the police, who then registered a case against Ansari. He was arrested on October 3, 2016.
In less than a week after his arrest, it was reported that Ansari had died at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). The CID, in its report, has confirmed, however, that he was beaten mercilessly after being taken to Narayanpur police station, which resulted in his death. Post-mortem report had also suggested this.
Police official Harish Pathak has been found guilty under IPC section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and soon CID will file the chargesheet against him. Ansari’s mother Ajhola Bibi had filed a complaint against then SHO Pathak, saying he had beaten her son to death, after which, he was suspended and an FIR was registered in the case.
Speaking to Newsclick, Minhaz's uncle Qadir Ansari said, "I, along with twenty villagers, went to Narayanpur police station to meet Minhaz, but police did not let us see him. When Minhaz was being transferred to the PMCH Hospital in Dhanbad, we also went to have a glimpse of him, but police did not allow us there also. Actually Minhaz had died same day in police custody, that's why they never let us meet him."
He further added that with the help of local MLA Irfan Ansari of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), they could see Minhaz when he was shifted to the Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi on October 7, but he was dead that time and police was only pretending that he was alive. He was allegedly tortured to death while being in police custody.
Newsclick also spoke to Jaya Roy, Jamtara SP, but she refused to comment, and asked the reporter to talk to the CID.
Two cattle traders – Mazloom Ansari (32) and Imtiaz Khan (11) – were thrashed and when they fell unconscious, they were hanged from a tree in a nearby forest at Jhabar village in Latehar district of Jharkhand on March 18, 2016. It was the first case of mob lynching in the state in the name of cow.
Last year, Alimuddin Ansari was also lynched by a mob over suspicion of carrying beef in Ramgarh, Jharkhand.