Rahul says Jharkhand assault case a ‘blot on humanity’, questions BJP’s silence

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Tuesday expressed grief over the death of 22-year-old Tabrez Ansari, calling it a ‘blot on humanity’ and said he was shocked by the incident as well as the ‘silence of powerful voices in the Bhartiya Janata Party-ruled government’. Ansari was thrashed by a mob in Jharkhand for alleged theft and forced to chant Jai Shri Ram".

The Congress chief tweeted: "The brutal lynching of this young man by a mob in Jharkhand is a blot on humanity. The cruelty of the police who held this dying boy in custody for 4 days is shocking as is the silence of powerful voices in the BJP ruled Central & State Govts."

A video of the incident, which took place in Dhatkidih village of Jharkhand s Seraikela Kharsawan district early on Tuesday, shows the mob beating Ansari and asking him to chant Jai Shri Ram and Jai Hanuman . Ansari is seen chanting and pleading with the mob to stop the assault.

Read | Police recorded victim s confession on bike theft, did not mention assault

The police have so far arrested five persons and two cops have been suspended.

Ansari (22), who was in judicial custody for theft, died on Saturday morning. He complained of ill-health and was rushed to Sadar Hospital and then to Tata Main Hospital, Jamshedpur, where he was declared dead on arrival. Sadar Hospital Civil Surgeon A N Dey said Ansari could have died of a heart attack or blockage , adding that the exact cause of the death would be ascertained after the post-mortem. However, Ansari’s family alleged he died because he was mercilessly beaten for four hours.

Police said a case was registered against Ansari under IPC Sections 457 (lurking house-trespass or housebreak by night), 380 (theft), 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) and others.

Complainant Kamal Mahto has told police that he and his family members woke up to a sound and found three men on the rooftop of his neighbour s house around 2 am on June 18. Mahto complained that when they raised an alarm, the three jumped from the roof. Two of them escaped but Ansari hurt his leg and could not run he hid in a bush where the villagers found him, Mahto has said.

The complaint states that the villagers found in Ansari s possession a motorcycle without a registration number, wallets and a phone later identified as stolen. It says police were informed and Ansari was handed over to them. However, the statement and the FIR do not mention the assault.