Muslim man Beaten to Death in Jharkhand, Police Deny Lynching
New Delhi: A 45-year-old Muslim man was beaten to death in Sikni village of Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district on Tuesday evening on suspicion of theft.
A resident of Jariyo village, Shamshad Ansari was in Sikni, under Rajrappa Police Station, for some work when he was waylaid by a few people at an isolated spot, stripped and thrashed to death.
By the time the police arrived, Ansari was dead. “The body will be handed over to the deceased’s family following an autopsy, which is in progress,” a police officer told Newsclick over the phone.
Ansari’s photographs accessed by Newsclick showed several bruises on his body.
COPS RULE OUT HATE CRIME
“It’s not a case of lynching or hate crime. Ansari had conned a few people on the pretext of getting their work done. While visiting Sikni, he was caught by them and thrashed. He died on the spot,” said Ramgarh outpost officer-in-charge Rohit Kumar.
At least, five people were arrested and are being questioned, Kumar said adding that Ansari “had a criminal record” though he didn’t provide details regarding the previous charges against the victim.
Tension has gripped Jariyo and Sikni with villagers agitated over the incident.
“The situation is tense as people are agitated over the incident but is under control. Additional police teams are camping in the area to avoid any law and order problem,” Kumar said.
Jharkhand is infamous for a high number of lynchings. After the term ‘mob lynching’ gained prominence following such incidents post-2014, the state has often been described as “Lynching-khand”.
Statistics of frequent incidents of mob violence in the state corroborate this with around 46 lynchings reported in the state in 2016-21.
About 12 incidents of mob violence were reported in 2022, the Jharkhand government said in response to a question by CPI-ML MLA Vinod Singh during the Budget Session of the Assembly last November.
Ramgarh hit headlines after Alimuddin Ansari was lynched to death in June 2017 on the suspicion that he was transporting beef in his vehicle, which was set ablaze by supporters of the Bajrang Dal and local cow protection committees.
A fast-track court held sentenced 11 people to death in March 2018. However, they were granted bail by the Jharkhand High Court. On their release, then-Union minister and Hazaribagh MP Jayant Sinha garlanded them.
Cattle traders Mazloom Ansari (32) and Imtiaz Khan (11) were lynched in a forest in the Latehar district on March 18, 2016. Their bodies were found hanging from a tree. Eight persons were convicted of murder in December 2018.
Tabrez Ansari (22) was tied to a pole and beaten up by a mob on suspicion of theft on June 18, 2019. He was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’. Days later, he died in police custody.
In the first week of January 2022, a mob thrashed a tribal youth named Sanju Pradhan (in 30s) and burnt him alive on suspicion of stealing wood in Besrajara Bazar, under the Kolebira Police Station, in Simdega.
In May, Shamim Ansari (45) was thrashed to death by a mob in the Bharano Police Station area of Gumla district because he protested the felling of trees.
On the night of September 4, a mob of hundreds killed three women calling them witches in Ranadih village, under Sonahatu Police Station, 50 km from Ranchi. The son of one of the women was also among the mob. When the police reached the village the next day, the villagers opposed them during the search operation.
On the night of September 25, a mob assaulted four people, including three women of a family—accusing them of witchcraft—in Aswari village, under Saraiyahat block of Dumka district. The victims were forced to eat human excreta and urine and branded with hot iron rods.
On October 3, Ejaz Khan (29) was beaten to death at Dumartoli village, in the Gumla district, on the Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh border, over the accusation of stealing a goat in Chhattisgarh.
On the night of October 6, a mob thrashed Imran Ansari (47) in Dhawaiya village, under the Gomia block of Bokaro district, alleging that he had illicit relations with a woman from another religion in the village. He died in hospital. The incident caused communal tension in the village and surrounding areas.
In February this year, Rupesh Pandey (17) was beaten to death by a mob during the Saraswati Puja immersion procession in Barhi, Hazaribagh. The matter was also raised in Parliament.
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