NEW DELHI: Five days have passed since a 55-year-old man was beaten to death by a strong mob of around 300 over suspicion of cattle theft in Bihar's Araria district, but not a single arrest has been made so far. What is more surprising is that the police appear to be callous and casual in its investigation into the incident.
The police had no idea about the gruesome killing till a purported video of the mob lynching went viral. As per reports, it was the alleged perpetrators who made the video and make it public on social media platforms. Only after that the body of the man was recovered and a first information report (FIR) was registered. Surprisingly, the police have registered a case of death due to negligence.
The incident took place on December 30 at Simarbani village under Sikti police station and the body was taken into custody on December 31, after the said video footage went viral.
Araria Sub Divisional Police Officer KP Singh said an FIR had been registered against “unknown persons” and they are trying to nab the main accused. He further said all the assailants were known to the victim and belonged to the same community.
Singh admitted that the police came to know about the incident only after the video footage came to fore. The version of the police raises more questions than answers because it seems that the officer is suggesting that the police could not reach there on time.
Surprisingly, the police have not named anyone from the mob in the FIR despite having in possession the video footage in which the victim – Kabul Miyan, a former village head – can be heard pleading to the mob to spare him as he had no reason to steal anyone’s cattle.
In the purported video, the attackers, led by one Muslim Miyan, can also be heard saying that he (the victim) should be killed and there was no need to call the police. They are seen laughing and encouraging each other to continue thrashing the man. They even removed the victim’s pants as they rained blows on him. The mob stopped only after the victim lay. Some of them can be heard suggesting that the videos be uploaded online. This clearly suggests that the perpetrators had no fear of law as also the law and order situation and the state machinery in Bihar have collapsed.
Mob violence and lynching have become a ‘new normal’. However, despite the skyrocketing graph of crime in his state, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar does not invite much criticism in the national media. There has no been a word from him, his Home Secretary Amir Subhani and his Cabinet colleagues, after so many incidents of hate crime.
Last year, 80-year-old Zainul Ansari was lynched and burnt in Sitamarhi by a mob during the Durga Puja celebrations. The police didn’t even allow his body to be buried in his native village.
In yet another incident, a 13-year-old boy, Indal Paswan, was beaten to death at Maghda Sarai in Nalanda, CM Kumar’s constituency, when he was returning home. The incident took place a day after a Rashtriya Janata Dal leader was shot dead. Paswan was a suspect in the killing of the RJD leader.