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Tabrez Ansari lynching case: police drop murder charge

Activists of Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) protesting in Kolkata against the killing of Tabrez Ansari who was lynched in Jharkhand.

Activists of Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) protesting in Kolkata against the killing of Tabrez Ansari who was lynched in Jharkhand.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

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Accused to face trial under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC instead of 302 (murder); No dilution of case, says Superintendent of Police

The Jharkhand Police have reportedly watered down the charges against those accused of lynching Tabrez Ansari in Seraikela-Kharsawan district about four months ago.

Eleven persons, against whom charge sheets have been filed for beating Tabrez, a 24-year-old man, to death, will be facing trial under Section 304 of IPC, which is culpable homicide not amounting to murder, instead of murder charges under Section 302.

In April this year, Tabrez, who was working as a welder in Pune, had returned to his village Kadamdia, 15 km from the district headquarters town of Seraikela, for his marriage. On April 27, his marriage was solemnised with Sahista Pervez, 19. The couple would have returned to Pune in a few days.

But on June 17 night, a few people of Dhatkidih village, a few kilometres from his house, caught hold of him and branded him a thief. He was beaten up by a mob through the night and forced to chant ‘Jai Hanuman and Jai Sriram’. On June 22, he succumbed to injuries. It was alleged that Tabrez was not given proper medical attention in time.

When contacted, Seraikela-Kharsawan Superintendent of Police Karthik S. said, “this is not a matter of dilution of the case. Section 304 of IPC, which is culpable homicide not amounting to murder, has life imprisonment provision and 302 of IPC is capital punishment. There is a very thin line existing between the two sections.”

“Since the medical report did not confirm the cause of death properly, the provision under Section 304 of IPC was applied. Tabrez didn’t die of injury. He died of cardiac arrest due to stress,” said Mr. Karthik.

The district police chief further said, “We had gone for the second opinion from forensic experts. According to them, the death was due to combined effect of heart attack and injury. Moreover, the victim did not die on the spot, but after a few days of the attack. That is why we thought it proper to seek punishment under Section 304 of IPC after getting it vetted by legal experts.”

When asked about earlier reports of Tabrez developing brain haemorrhage in the mob attack, he said the first post-mortem report did mention about ‘light’ haemorrhage.

“However, the brain haemorrhage was so minimal that it could not be written. Even in the second opinion, they also talked about brain haemorrhage. It was mentioned that the fracture in the head and other injury had led to heart attack. If 302 IPC was applied, one had to establish the premeditated actions. So we deemed Section 304 to be proper,” Mr. Karthik contended.

The charge sheet in the case was filed a month ago. After getting to know that there was no mention of murder charge, family members, including the wife of the deceased, had met the district police chief and demanded that the accused face grave charges.

Eleven persons have so far been chargesheeted in the case and investigation was pending against two more as they were apprehended later. The photo and voice analysis of the two are yet to be done.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 8:41:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tabrez-ansari-lynching-case-police-drops-murder-charge/article29382348.ece

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