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11 arrested over the shocking mob attack

Eleven men have been arrested and two police officers suspended over the shocking mob attack on a 24-year-old man in Jharkhand last week. Tabrez Ansari, accused of stealing a motorcycle, was tied to a pole, brutally beaten and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman“. He was handed over to the authorities only after he fell unconscious and died four days later in police custody.

The special investigation team (SIT) in charge of the inquiry has been asked to submit its report to the Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary by Wednesday. Ansari and a group of his friends were going home, traveling from Jamshedpur to Saraikela-Kharsawan’s Karsova, when they were attacked barely five kilometres from home, a relative said.

“He was mercilessly beaten as he was Muslim. I don’t have anybody, no in-laws. My husband was my only support. I want justice,” Shahista Parveen, Ansari’s wife said.

His family has alleged that despite appeals the police did not arrange for proper treatment of Ansari, that they were not allowed to meet him, and that he died long before he was taken to a hospital. They have demanded action against all concerned, including the police and the doctors, who have yet to be questioned.

“We are looking into all angles. His family members mentioned some unidentified miscreants in their complaint. Based on that, we have already arrested eleven people, including a man named Papu Mandal,” Seraikela-Kharsawan Superintendent of Police Karthik S said.

The opposition party in the state – the Congress – has demanded Rs. 25 lakh compensation and a government job for his wife.

Faced with mounting anger from across the country, the police admitted to lapses in procedure and formed a SIT. In addition, two officers – Chandramohan Oraon and Bipin Bihari – have been suspended for “not reporting the seriousness of the issue to the higher authorities” and for their failure to “register a case of lynching on the very same day”, a government statement said.

Hyderabad politician Asaduddin Owaisi was quoted by news agency as criticising the BJP and the RSS for having “successfully created a mindset where Muslims are seen as terrorists, anti-nationals & cow slaughters”.

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