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Cops didn’t intervene to save Simdega lynching victim: Widow

Mob of over 200 people beat up the man on allegations of tree felling and then set his body on fire!

Sabrangindia 06 Jan 2022

 Simdega lynching victimImage Courtesy:english.newstracklive.com

In yet another horrific example of mob violence, Sanju Pradhan, a native of Besrajara village in Jharkhand’s Simdega district was dragged out of his home on Tuesday, and beaten up on allegations of tree felling allegedly by nearly 200 people from the neighbouring Bambalkhera village. The mob then set his body on fire. His widow has now claimed that the police just stood there and watched and did nothing to save her husband’s life.

This is interesting because according a report in the Indian Express, Kolebira Police Station Officer In-charge Rameshwar Bhagat had claimed that they could not save the man as they could reach the spot only after the lynching. But Sapna Devi, the widow of the 34-year-old man, told the publication on Wednesday, “Police were there even before the assault [on Pradhan] started. I pleaded, begged them to save my husband. But no one came [forward to help].” Pradhan had reportedly skipped a meeting about felling of trees in a part of the forest that is considered sacred by the local tribal community. But Sapna Devi says, “We had bought some trees from a person and we had cut the wood for our home.” Meanwhile, the publication quoted an unnamed official as saying, “It is not that the police did not want to do anything, but they could not do anything because the mob was completely violent.”

Shortly after the incident, reports emerged that Pradhan was allegedly associated with Maoists, and had cases lodged against him in the local thana. The Telegraph also reported how local police say that he would allegedly threaten people about the felling and sale of Sal trees. It remains to be established if any of these allegations are true or just another example of blaming the victim and justifying the lynching. Simdega superintendent of police Shamz Tabrez told TT, “He had links with Maoist groups but that does not give villagers the licence to take law into their own hands. We will nab all persons involved in the incident soon.”

Village head Suvan Budho is among the 15 people named in the FIR that was registered in response to a complaint filed by Sapna Devi. 200 unnamed people have also been charged in the FIR.

Jharkhand has had its share of lynchings in the past as well, the most shocking being the Latehar lynchings that took place on March 18, 2016, when 32-year-old cattle trader Mazloom Ansari and his business partner’s 11-year-old son Imtiaz Khan were mercilessly beaten and hanged from a tree by cow vigilantes in Jhabar village. 

Recently, in Simdega itself, there was another such incident where a mob beat up a young man. On November 28, the Muslim man identified as Md. Adil, said to be mentally challenged and 22-years-old, was brutally beaten up, when he wandered into a neighbouring village in the Idgah Mohalla in Simdega, by mistake. The attackers allegedly threw his cap on the ground and pulled his beard. Adil was then beaten and could barely talk as he recalled that a group of men had attacked him in the area known as Thakur Toli. 

Related:

Muslim man assaulted, Adivasi man lynched to death: What is happening in Jharkhand?
How Jharkhand Police sabotaged the Latehar Lynching Case

Cops didn’t intervene to save Simdega lynching victim: Widow

Mob of over 200 people beat up the man on allegations of tree felling and then set his body on fire!

 Simdega lynching victimImage Courtesy:english.newstracklive.com

In yet another horrific example of mob violence, Sanju Pradhan, a native of Besrajara village in Jharkhand’s Simdega district was dragged out of his home on Tuesday, and beaten up on allegations of tree felling allegedly by nearly 200 people from the neighbouring Bambalkhera village. The mob then set his body on fire. His widow has now claimed that the police just stood there and watched and did nothing to save her husband’s life.

This is interesting because according a report in the Indian Express, Kolebira Police Station Officer In-charge Rameshwar Bhagat had claimed that they could not save the man as they could reach the spot only after the lynching. But Sapna Devi, the widow of the 34-year-old man, told the publication on Wednesday, “Police were there even before the assault [on Pradhan] started. I pleaded, begged them to save my husband. But no one came [forward to help].” Pradhan had reportedly skipped a meeting about felling of trees in a part of the forest that is considered sacred by the local tribal community. But Sapna Devi says, “We had bought some trees from a person and we had cut the wood for our home.” Meanwhile, the publication quoted an unnamed official as saying, “It is not that the police did not want to do anything, but they could not do anything because the mob was completely violent.”

Shortly after the incident, reports emerged that Pradhan was allegedly associated with Maoists, and had cases lodged against him in the local thana. The Telegraph also reported how local police say that he would allegedly threaten people about the felling and sale of Sal trees. It remains to be established if any of these allegations are true or just another example of blaming the victim and justifying the lynching. Simdega superintendent of police Shamz Tabrez told TT, “He had links with Maoist groups but that does not give villagers the licence to take law into their own hands. We will nab all persons involved in the incident soon.”

Village head Suvan Budho is among the 15 people named in the FIR that was registered in response to a complaint filed by Sapna Devi. 200 unnamed people have also been charged in the FIR.

Jharkhand has had its share of lynchings in the past as well, the most shocking being the Latehar lynchings that took place on March 18, 2016, when 32-year-old cattle trader Mazloom Ansari and his business partner’s 11-year-old son Imtiaz Khan were mercilessly beaten and hanged from a tree by cow vigilantes in Jhabar village. 

Recently, in Simdega itself, there was another such incident where a mob beat up a young man. On November 28, the Muslim man identified as Md. Adil, said to be mentally challenged and 22-years-old, was brutally beaten up, when he wandered into a neighbouring village in the Idgah Mohalla in Simdega, by mistake. The attackers allegedly threw his cap on the ground and pulled his beard. Adil was then beaten and could barely talk as he recalled that a group of men had attacked him in the area known as Thakur Toli. 

Related:

Muslim man assaulted, Adivasi man lynched to death: What is happening in Jharkhand?
How Jharkhand Police sabotaged the Latehar Lynching Case

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