Family members of Tabrez Ansari, the 24-year-old Muslim man, who was lynched by a terrorist mob in Jharkhand last week, have held the Kharsawan Police as equally responsible for his killing.
The family has alleged that Tabrez was alive and was walking when he was taken into police custody. However, the police did not provide him with adequate medical treatment, which led to his death four days later.
On June 17, 2019, 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari, and his two friends, Mohammed Irfaan (25) and Numer Ali (26), were accosted by a terrorist mob of villagers in Dhatkidih village in Seraikela Kharsawan district, in Jharkhand.
Tabrez was working as a welder in Pune and had come home to celebrate Eid. He had got married only two months ago on April 26. He was due to return to Pune with his new wife, Shaista Parveen (21) on June 24, 2019, to resume work at an iron-fabrication unit. He had lost both his parents at a young age and had migrated to eke out his livelihood eight years ago.
“They were on their way back from Jamshedpur…around 100 people stopped them at Dhatkidih village and asked their name…when they found out he is a Muslim, they assaulted him and forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, said Tabrez’s wife in her complaint to the police.
The video of Tabrez being tied to a pole and being brutally assaulted clearly shows the terrorist mob asking his name, and forcing him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’. The cold-blooded lynching continued for 14 hours before he was arrested by the police on June 18 for theft of a motorcycle. According to the family, the police did not take into account the savage assault on him or his physical injuries and failed to provide him with proper medical treatment.
Hello @moonstar4u, this is how Hindutva Terrorist used “Jai shree Ram “.
I hope you might feel ashamed for supporting that ideology if you are real Lord Shree Ram “ Devotee “ !!pic.twitter.com/DNTBvWCamY
— Azaad (@dostam_comrade) June 23, 2019
On June 22, 2019, four days after he was remanded to judicial custody, Tabrez was found unconscious in jail and admitted to Seraikela Sadar (district) hospital for treatment, where he succumbed to his injuries. Videos which have surfaced since then, have revealed that the police officers, who took Tabrez to the hospital did not even allow him a stretcher after he reached the hospital. The videos show that Tabrez was dragged by his collar by the police, showcasing their callousness and lack of empathy over his condition.
“My son-in-law would have been alive had the administration showed a little bit of sympathy and given the minimum medical attention,” The Hindu quoted Tabrez’s mother-in-law Shehnaz Begum as saying.
“My elder brother went to see him at the Saraikela police station. But the officers threatened and shooed them away with lathis, saying ‘You have come to talk for the thief’. They threatened to put him in jail as well. We were not allowed to meet him,” one of Tabrez’s relatives told ANI news network.
The family has insisted that he had no criminal record and that he was attacked because he was a Muslim. “Let us assume he was caught for theft, but tying him up and beating him for hours and then asking him to chant Jai Shri Ram is shocking,” Alam said. “His mistake was that he was a Muslim, otherwise he would have been alive,” his uncle Maqsood Alam told Indian Express.
According to Hate Crime Watch, Tabrez Ansari’s killing is the 15th hate crime to be recorded in the BJP-ruled Jharkhand. Since the Modi-led BJP came to power in 2014, Muslims (14.53% of Jharkhand’s population) have been targeted in 87% (13 of 15) of religious hate crimes, making the state the second deadliest place for anti-religious violence.