Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy on Thursday, 12 September, said that the dropping of murder charges by Jharkhand police against 11 accused in the Tabrez Ansari mob lynching case is "unfortunate.”
He also said that the accused should be punished and that law will take its own course, news agency PTI reported.
“I don’t know what had happened in the court. I want that whatever had happened, whatever criminal act had happened, guilty should be punished,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Delhi.
Reddy dismissed the suggestion that alleged incidents of lynching have been taking place only in BJP ruled states.
"There were similar incidents in West Bengal too. So many such cases have happened in the past, not all (have been) in the BJP ruled states," he said.
WHAT WAS THE CASE ABOUT?
Ansari worked as a labourer and welder in Pune and had come home to celebrate Eid when he was captured by locals at Dhatkidih village in Seraikela-Kharsawan in Jharkhand on the night of 17 June, over suspicion of trying to steal a motorcycle.
He was tied to a pole and assaulted by a mob with sticks and iron rods.
A video of the scene that went viral showed he was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’ by a group of people assaulting him.
As Ansari's condition deteriorated, he was shifted to the district government hospital the same day. With no signs of improvement, he was then referred to the Tata Main Hospital, where he was declared brought dead on 22 June.
Altogether, 13 people were named accused in the case.
WHAT ABOUT THE DROPPED CHARGES?
The Seraikela-Kharsawan district police had charge-sheeted 11 of the 13 named accused in the case on July 29, dropping the stringent charge of murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
All 11 of them will now face the law for lesser offence under section 304 of IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
"We have taken the decision to convert section 302 under the IPC to 304 of the code after consulting the authorities. The decision was taken based on proper probe and post-mortem and forensic reports, which said that Ansari died of cardiac arrest," Superintendent of Police Karthik S said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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