Nationwide protests against brutal mob lynching of Jharkhand youth Tabrez Ansari

Protests will be organised in different parts of the country on the brutal mob lynching of the 24 year old Muslim youth, Tabrez Ansari. Tabrez, a welder by profession, had come to Jharkhand to celebrate Eid with his family. Ironically, he was lynched on the same day as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was visiting Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi for a Yoga day event.

Tabrez Ansari

A mob got hold of Tabrez alias Sonu as he was going home, Saraikela-Kharaswan on a motorcycle. He was attacked merely at a distance of five kilometres from his residence. The attackers tied him to an electric pole. The video of the incident showed that when the mob asked his name and he replied, “Sonu”, they abused him and demanded to know his actual name. Terrified, he replied saying “Tabrez”. Immediately, the mob began chanting “Jai Sri Ram”, pounced on him, and beat him up, brutally. They tried to force him to chant “Jai Sri Ram”. Later, they left him, badly injured. When he was brought to hospital, Tabrez succumbed to his injuries during treatment. 

His brutal killing has left social media users in a state of total shock and dismay.

Reacting on the incident, youth leader Umar Khalid updated the following as his Facebook status, “Can we organise simultaneous protests across the country this Wednesday against the brutal lynching of Tabrez Ansari and the continuing incidents of mob violence? Any platform, any banner, any organisation, any place…but just one demand #JusticeForTabrez and an end to mob violence? Citizens can take the initiative in their galis, mohallas, anywhere. Dont just like the post, give your opinion in the comments section and take responsibility in your respective areas.”

Now, many organisations from different parts of the country have responded to this incident of mob lynching. Protests are being organised in Delhi, Varanasi, Ahmedabad and other areas.

Ansari’s recently wed wife, Shaista Parveen approached the police with the videos of the incident, which have now spread on social media and generated shock and condemnation.

As per the latest reports, 11 men have been arrested. Two police officers have also been suspended. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) is supposed to submit a report to the Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary by Wednesday.

Tabrez’s family alleged that despite several appeals, police didn’t arrange for proper treatment and family members weren’t allowed to meet him. The family also alleges that he died long before he was taken to a hospital. The family has demanded action against all concerned, including the police and the doctor; the latter has yet to be questioned.

Due to widespread rage across the country, the police have admitted to lapses and formed the SIT. Two officers, Chandramohan Oraon and Bipin Bihari, have been suspended for “not reporting the seriousness of the issue to the higher authorities” and “register a case of lynching on the very same day”, a government statement said.

Minister CP Singh in Jharkhand said that it was “wrong to politicise mob killings.” He added that the “trend” these days, was to “associate such incidents with the BJP, RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal. It is a time of ‘cut and paste’ – who fits what words where is difficult to say”.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted:

“Tabrez Ansari was lynched to death in BJP ruled Jharkhand. A Hindu mob thrashed him ruthlessly because he refused to chant Jai Sri Ram. Is this NDA 2.0’s New India? Yeh kaunsa tareeka hai sabka vishwas jeetnay ka?”

Hyderabad politician Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted: “This is the pattern with almost all lynchings. First, a Muslim is murdered by cow lovers. Then the most ridiculous excuses begin: a ‘suspicion’ of beef possession, theft, smuggling & love jihad. So much for sabka vishwas when we can be killed over mere ‘suspicions’.”

Most others from mainstream parties such as Congress, SP and BSP have not spoken on the issue. On this, AIPWA secretary and CPI (ML) polit bureau member Kavita Krishnan said,

Noted human rights activist Teesta Setalvad said,

Data from the fact-checking website shows that the attack on Tabrez Ansari was the eleventh such incident of hate crime this year. In 59 per cent of the cases, the victims have been Muslims and 28 per cent of the incidents have been over cow-related issues.

Since 2016, as many as 13 people have been killed in various incident of mob lynching In Jharkhand. On April 10, a tribal man Prakash Lakra was beaten to death allegedly for skinning dead Ox.

Rumours on whatsapp of alleged incidents of beef eating and cow smuggling spread like wildfire leading to many such deaths. Victims’ families dispute such allegations. Since 2015, a large number of lynching cases have taken place in BJP ruled state particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Jharkhand.

In another horrific incident in March 2016, cow vigilantes had abducted cattle trader Majloom Ansari and schoolboy Imtiaz Khan in Latehar district while they were on their way to a cattle fair in a neighbouring district. They lynched the two and hanged them from a tree. In December 2018, a local court sentenced eight convicts to life for their involvement in the incident.

To stop lynching cases, Supreme Court has also issued orders, but the incidents continue. Nodal officers are required to be appointed by state governments to prevent this new form of violence.



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