An under-trial prisoner who was beaten by a mob for allegedly stealing a motorcycle died at Seraikela Sadar Hospital on Saturday, triggering protest by family members and civil rights groups.
Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha and CPI (ML) posted videos on social media alleging that the deceased, identified as Tabrez Ansari, was lynched to death on June 17 after being forced to chant Jai Sri Ram and Jai Hanuman in Dahtkidih village under Seraikela police station (PS) in Seraikela-Kharsawan district.
Police on Sunday, however, arrested main accused, Pappu Mandal, on charges of leading the mob which thrashed Ansari mercilessly for alleged theft of a motorcycle.
The police arrested Mandal after deceased wife Shaista Parveen lodged a complaint in Seraikela PS on Saturday evening against 10 accused. She alleged that her husband was tied to an electric pole and was forced to chant Jai Sri Ram and Jai Hanuman by the unruly mob on June 17.
Ansari declared brought dead at Tata Main Hospital (TMH) where he was referred to on Saturday evening by Seraikela Sadar Hospital.
“Tabrez Ansari was caught red-handed by the villagers while stealing the motor bike. He was beaten up. Several stolen materials were also recovered from his house. He was sent to jail on June 18 after primary treatment and was shifted to Seraikela Sadar Hospital last morning. He died during treatment,” Kartik S, Seraikela-Kharsawan superintendent of police (SP), told the HT this evening. However, his family members Ansari was alive when he was referred to TMH.
The SP said, “We have already arrested the main accused and raids are on to nab the other accused. We will not spare anyone found guilty. We are also verifying allegations that he was forced to make some chants.”
Seraikela sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Avinash Kumar, who had interrogated Ansari, said the stolen motorcycle was recovered from his possession apart from stolen mobiles and other valuables from his house. “He was completely fit while going to jail. His family members showed us some video of his being beaten up and on the basis of which we arrested one of the accused and lodged an FIR,” said Kumar.