Congress MLA remark on Tabrez lynching stirs row in Jharkhand

Abhishek Angad
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Tabrez Ansari. (Video grab)

Jharkhand Assembly’s maiden session Wednesday was rocked by Congress MLA Irfan Ansari’s allegation that the accused in the murder of Tabrez Ansari, the 24-year-old attacked by a lynch mob in June last year, were BJP workers.

Although Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahato said the lines would be expunged and demanded an apology, Ansari refused to apologise.

Ansari later said he wasn’t naming the entire saffron party for the murder, but a few persons affiliated to it.

Tabrez Ansari was tied to a pole and beaten with rods in Saraikela-Kharsawan area for alleged theft. He was also forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. He died in jail four days later. Police had earlier dropped the murder charge in the case, but later added it while filing a supplementary chargesheet.

On Wednesday, trouble began when a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha legislator was addressing the session looking at the BJP MLAs, which the saffron party objected to. BJP Ranchi MLA C P Singh interrupted him. On Irfan Ansari’s turn to address the assembly, he said the present government will investigate the previous government’s work. This was again interrupted by C P Singh. In response, Irfan Ansari made the allegation.

Despite Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahato expunging the “objectionable part” from the proceedings and adjourning the assembly for 15 minutes, all the BJP MLAs trooped into the well of the House, raised slogans and demanded an apology from Congress members.

A few months ago, C P Singh had compelled Irfan Ansari to say Jai Shri Ram outside the assembly building.

Later, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, while replying to the motion of thanks, said his government will pursue development that people will feel. He further said his government would end the model of “filling up coffers of politicians and officers”, taking a veiled dig at the previous government.