NewsCentral Exclusive: “Give Us One Hour, We Will Finish Muslims…”

Published on: November 8, 2018
These were the words of the Mob that lynched 80-year-old Zainul Ansari in Bihar’s Sitamarhi reports the web portal

Sitamarhi Riots

Sitamarhi after the riot. PC: CPIML - Liberation, Bihar Page on Facebook
 
On October 20, a mob lynched 80-year-old Zainul Ansari during a Durga Puja procession in Sitamarhi, Bihar. The incident did not make national headlines till November 2, when videos and images of the brutal murder had gone viral on social media. The lack of attention that the incident has received is best exemplified by the ruling political party’s response on the matter.

When asked about the incident, Naval Kishore Sharma — a spokesperson of Janata Dal (United) headed by Nitish Kumar — told NewsCentral24x7, “I am in the market right now, this is holiday season. I am spending time with my family. Will be able to give a statement on the issue only after Diwali.” The 80-year-old Muslim man was lynched on October 20. Zainul Ansari, who was reportedly returning from his daughter’s house, was attacked and burnt alive by a mob during a Durga Puja procession.
NewsCentral24x7 went to Sitamarhi, Bihar, to gather details on the incident.

According to the FIR accessed by NewsCentral24x7, the incident took place in a neighbourhood, Muraliya Chak, near the Gaushala Chowk (a market place in Sitamarhi city). A man working at a sweet shop on Gaushala Chowk, told NewsCentral24x7 that On October 20, a riot took place in the area. He says that there was a mob of thousands that the police was unable to control. Visibly scared, he refuses to divulge any details. Six FIRs were filed in the matter and 38 people have been arrested so far.
 
The night before the murder
Approximately 400 metres from the Chowk is the Darul-ul-Ulema madrasa, considered the centre of the neighbourhood which is chiefly inhabited by Muslims. But almost no one at the madrasa wishes to talk.

The incident was mostly ignored even though it happened in broad daylight and was recorded on video. The disturbing images of the attack are now circulating on social media.

Reportedly, the mob got violent after the Durga Puja procession was not allowed to pass from a specific area. The mob then dragged Ansari, assaulted him brutally and burnt him alive at the spot.

Vikash Burman, the Superintendent of Police, Sitamarhi, told The Quint, “Ansari was not part of the two warring sides. He was likely targeted by the mob when he was in the locality.” Ansari’s burnt corpse was discovered two days later when a Missing Person report was filed.