By Arun Srivastava
Shahista Parveen pleaded for justice. But her pleas fell on the deaf ears of the state administration. No police officer is willing to lend his ear to her wails and cries. Now having failed in her mission to get justice from the judiciary and the government, Shahista– the wife of Tabrez Ansari – has warned the state police of committing suicide for getting justice to her deceased husband
Cow-related lynching in Jharkhand has become the most convenient mechanism to suppress the voice of the minorities in the state. Probably, it is the only state in the country where maximum number of lynching took place without any hindrance.
The increase in the number of hate crime incidents simply symbolises growing clout of the forces of Hindutva. Lynching is today, India’s greatest shame. But for the Hindutva forces this is a boon. Tabrez Ansari, a twenty- four-year-old Muslim was brutally attacked and killed by a murderous mob. This horrific incident took place in Jharkhand on the night of 17/18 June.
Videos of the lynching clearly show how Ansari was tied to a telephone pole, after being accused of stealing a motorcycle. As he was being mercilessly beaten by the mob, he was forced by them to say “Jai Sri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”.
Lynching has become the new normal in India today. ‘Lynching’ can be best described as “premeditated extrajudicial killing by a group. Lynching is an act of terrorism. Shockingly in India, during the last five years, there have been 175 major assaults and nearly 47 persons have been killed in such cases.
For one full year Tabrez family members waited for justice. But he has been denied. Earlier the police registered a case of murder, but now it says that it was a death due to cardiac arrest. Medical reports confirm that he died of beating, but the police is out to prove that was not beaten.
Shahista says: “The whole world saw my husband’s murder. Still, my husband’s murderers are being saved by the district administration. It is a shame that murder charges are not reinstated against the killers.”
Jharkhand Police dropped the murder charge against 11 accused in the mob lynching case of Tabrez Ansari who was seen on national television being beaten up with rods while tied to a pole and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ over alleged theft.
Though police says he died of cardiac arrest a document signed by five HoDs of the MGM Medical College in Jamshedpur suggests that while Tabrez Ansari died of a cardiac arrest, the heart attack was the result of severe injuries. According to the report, Tabrez’s cardiac arrest was induced by a combination of a skull fracture, pale organs and filling up of blood in his heart chambers.
Over the last five years, India has seen an outbreak of religious hate crimes, with an average of one happening every week. Many of them have drawn mass protests, social media outrage, hashtags and even a response from the government.
In the last six years the country witnessed 276 such hate crimes, according to Hate Crime Watch, a database that tracks such crimes. In the five years preceding Modi’s tenure, there were only 24 cases. There have already been 23 such hate crimes in 2019, and Jharkhand has seen 15 of them.
On July 8, 2018, the Union minister Jayant Sinha, a member of Parliament from Jharkhand, garlanded eight men convicted in a murder by lynching case who were recently released on bail. Obviously the senior police officers using their power and post to protect the killers of Tabrej has not come as a surprise.
Number of falsely implicating the minorities and adivasis are quite huge. On 3 July 2018, the Supreme Court of India stated that violence in the name of cow vigilantism was unacceptable. But while the killers are least bothered of this order, the police circumvents it to serve the interest of their political masters, for whom each lynching pushes their mission one step closer to India turning a Hindu Rashtra. A three member bench headed by CJI had observed ; “This is a law and order issue and each state have to be responsible. These kinds of incidents cannot occur. It cannot be accepted in the remotest sense. It is an obligation of the states to ensure that such incidents do not occur”.
An insight into the lynching cases would reveal that more than a religious incident, these are meant to assert authority and stake on land. A decade back, the politics in Jharkhand was dictated by the combined forces of adivasis and Muslims with Hindus playing second fiddle. The JMM of Shibu Soren and Congress were primarily dependent on this combination. Now Hindu forces are striving for their own assertion and the opportunity has come with emergence of Hindu as a major political force. The lynching is the strategic move to terrorise the Adivasi and Muslim musclemen and force to fall to the Hindu line. (IPA Service)