Police drop murder charge in Tabrez Ansari lynching case


PTI, Sep 10, 2019, 2:34 PM IST

Seraikela: Police has dropped murder charges against all 13 accused in the mob lynching case of a young Muslim man Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand’s Saraikela- Kharsawan that had sent shock waves across the country, and converted it into one of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, an official said on Tuesday.

The murder charge (Section 302 of the IPC) has been converted to Section 304 of the code.

We have converted the Section 302 of the IPC into section 304 of the IPC only after taking the opinion of authorities concerned, who were also inconclusive about Tabrez Ansari’s death due to lynching, the Superintendent of Police of Seraikela-Kharsawan district, Karthik S, told PTI.

The charge sheet against two of the 13 arrested was filed in a local court and soon investigation would be completed against other 11 accused, he said.

While the quantum of punishment under section 302 is death or imprisonment for life and fine, the penalty under Section 304 is imprisonment for life or imprisonment for ten years or fine or both.

The doctors had earlier claimed Tabrez died of cardiac arrest.

The 13 accused were arrested in connection with the death of the 24-year-old man, who was thrashed by a mob for alleged theft.

Videos showing Ansari being beaten up while tied to a pole had gone viral. His tormentors were seen forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”.

The video, which was circulated widely on social media and triggered protests in several parts of the country, was shared with the police by Ansari’s family members.

On the night of June 17, Ansari and two others were alleged to have entered a house in a village with the intention of committing theft.

The occupants of the house woke up and raised an alarm, following which villagers caught hold of Ansari and assaulted him. His alleged accomplices were claimed to have escaped.

The police reached the spot in the morning and took Ansari to jail on a complaint by villagers, after giving him first aid.

However, when his condition deteriorated, the same day he was taken to the Sadar Hospital with multiple injuries, the SP said.

He was subsequently referred to the Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur where he was declared brought dead on June 22.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up to probe the incident and two policemen were suspended for alleged dereliction of duty.

The arrested accused are: Prakash Mandal alias Pappu Mandal, Kamal Mahato, Sunamo Pradhan, Premchand Mahali, Sumant Mahato, Madan Nayak, Chamu Nayak, Mahesh Mahali, Kunal Mahali, Satyanarayan Nayak, Bhim Sen Mandal, Vikram Mandal and Atul Mahali.

A charge sheet has been filed against Vikram Mandal and Atul Mahali, the SP said.

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