A young man, Tabrez Ansari, died on June 17 in Jharkhand’s Saraikela-Kharsawan area. Eleven persons were named in an FIR for murder. On Tuesday, the charges were reduced to culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The reason: the autopsy said the death was due to a heart attack. The fanatics can breathe easy.
In Pehlu Khan’s case too, of cow-lynching that drew global attention, the accused got away due to police laxity. Some charges were in fact slapped on the deceased. The man was killed when the BJP was in power, while the charges were dropped recently, with the Congress in office. This caused a furore, and the Ashok Gehlot government has revisited the case, bringing the police under the scanner.
Is there an unspoken campaign to kill men of one faith by mobs of another, and then allow the accused to slip through the loopholes? This question should be asked by the judiciary by taking a suo motu interest in specific cases to ensure that there is a sense of justice in the country.
In the Jharkhand case, Tabrez was thrashed by a fanatical mob for seven hours. Ostensibly, it was about the theft of a motorcycle, but this wasn’t brought up during the beating. Instead, he was asked his name. He gave his nickname, that was religion-neutral. Then he was asked his formal name. When he whispered this, the thrashing got fierce and he was made to shout some Hindu religious slogans.
How do we know all this? As in many lynching cases, the perpetrators shot videos and passed it around. Amazingly, the police took him into judicial custody for motorcycle theft, but omitted to mention the hours-long mob beating....