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Forced to chant `Jai Shri Ram’ & lynched

June 24
11:52 2019

Jamshedpur/ Saraikela : A newly married welder, who died after a lynch mob pounced on him last week near Jamshedpur on suspicion that he was a thief, was forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”, suggests footage that has emerged since then.

Tabrez Ansari, 24, who worked in Pune and was home for the Id holidays, was waylaid by the mob while he was returning on a bike from Jamshedpur on June 18, Tuesday.

Tabrez was caught with two others on the suspicion that they stole a motorcycle, a purse, a voter identity card and a cellphone at Dhatkidih village under Seraikela police station limits, around 35km from Jamshedpur.

The other two managed to escape but around 15 villagers tied Tabrez to a cement pole and thrashed him with sticks through the night, police sources said. On Wednesday morning, the villagers handed over Tabrez, along with the alleged stolen goods, to the police and told the officials that he had injured himself when he fell down.

Tabrez, who was eventually sent to judicial custody, succumbed to his injuries on Saturday morning although he was taken to two hospitals.

On Sunday, police arrested Pappu Mondal, 23, who allegedly led the mob. The arrest was executed on a complaint filed by the wife of Tabrez. Their wedding had taken place in April.

Seraikela sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Avinash Kumar claimed Tabrez had not told the police about the beating and they came to know of it only after his family produced two video clips.

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One clip, recorded in daylight, shows Tabrez being beaten mercilessly with sticks. In the second clip taken at night, voices can be heard ordering Tabrez, tied to the pole, to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. Tabrez tries to do as he was ordered but the mob is heard telling him to chant again.

It is unclear why the police, who say they were not told of the beating, could not figure out Tabrez was tortured as the clip recorded at night shows him in great distress and severe pain.

According to Jamshedpurbased social worker Aurangzeb Ansari, Tabrez was working in Pune, got married in April and had come home A screengrab from the video in which Tabrez Ansari is seen being made to repeatedly say Jai Shri Ram and Jai Hanuman for Id. Aurangzeb said Tabrez had no known criminal record. Tabrez’s widow has said her husband was innocent. On Friday night, Tabrez’s condition deteriorated in jail. Police sources said the jail administration sent him to Seraikela Sadar Hospital, where he died around 10am on Saturday.

His family members, police sources said, felt he was still alive and insisted that he be referred to a better hospital. He was referred to Tata Main Hospital, where doctors on emergency duty declared him brought dead. Police sent the body to the Seraikela Sadar Hospital for post-mortem, which was done under a threemember medical board on Saturday afternoon.

“Only after his death, the family members of the victim revealed about the assault and produced video clips,” SDPO Kumar told The Telegraph on Sunday. “Although we had already registered a case of theft against Tabrez while arresting him, we asked the victim’s family members to lodge an FIR in connection with the assault on the victimThe SDPO said a case of murder had been slapped against 15-16 people in the FIR lodged by Tabrez’s widow. “As soon as a case was registered, we started searching for the assailants and arrested one of them, Pappu Mondal of Dhatkidih,” Kumar said.

Had Tabrez’s family members mentioned the beating the police would have registered a second case the day Tabrez was arrested for theft, the SDPO said, adding that the villagers should not have taken the law into their hands.

“In the clips, it is clearly seen that one person was assaulting the victim, who was tied to a pole, with a stick,” Kumar said. “Some villagers are seen standing nearby. We have already arrested one person and will arrest the other accused soonOpposition leaders condemned the lynching.

“Horrific, shameful and cruel. I strongly condemn this incident. @dasraghubar ‘ji if this is where #Jharkhand is leading to, please be ashamed of your Vikas. And for once ask your police to take strict action at the earliest,” JMM leader Hemant Soren tweeted on Sunday morning.

State Congress president Ajoy Kumar tweeted that his party would hold a state-wide protest on Tuesday and help Tabrez’s family financially and legally. Senior party member D.P. Champia will head a Congress team that will investigate the lynching, the party said on Sunday..


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