The Jharkhand police have arrested six persons in connection with the lynching of 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari in Saraikela Kharsawan district, police said on Monday.
The lynching, which has triggered a nationwide outrage, is being probed by a Special Investigation Team (SIT). SIT investigation has been made mandatory by the Supreme Court in every mob lynching case.
Tabrez was targeted by the culprits on the suspicion of a theft at Dhatkidih village on June 18 night. Despite him pleading that he is innocent and be spared, they beat him up badly and forced him to chant, ‘Jai Sriram and Jai Hanuman’.
He was rescued by the police in the early hours of the next day (June 19) and taken to hospital for treatment. Following a theft complaint filed by the villagers against him, he was arrested and produced in court, which sent him to jail. On June 22, his condition suddenly worsened and he was admitted in the district headquarters hospital, where he died.
“We have taken the issue very seriously. We are looking for each and every person who are directly or indirectly involved in the crime. I had discussed whole issue with family members of the victim. Nobody will be spared,” said Karthik S, Saraikela-Kharsawan Superintendent of Police.
Papu Mandal, who was named in the complaint filed by family members of the victim, was immediately arrested. Now, five others have been arrested, said Mr. Karthik. “We don’t know who were exactly involved, as the video footage is not clear. During investigation, if complicity of any person comes to our notice, he will be taken to task,” he said.
Several videos of the lynching have gone viral on the social media. In a video, Tabrez was heard chanting ‘Jai Sriram and Jai Hanuman’ as directed by the mob.
Police said he was working in Pune as a daily wager and had come to his village for some work.
When asked if the victim was forced to chant, “Jai Sriram and Jai Hanuman”, Kuldip Dwivedi, Deputy Inspector General of police of Kolhan Range, said, “the investigation is going on. At this moment, it is premature to give any comment. But we are looking into all aspects of the incident.”