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Police drop murder charge in Tabrez Ansari lynching case

The murder charge has been changed into culpable homicide not amounting to murder

By PTI in Jharkhand
  • Published 10.09.19, 2:50 PM
  • Updated 10.09.19, 4:10 PM
  • 2 mins read
A protest in New Delhi on June 26, 2019, against the lynching of Tabrez Ansari AP

Police have dropped murder charges against all the 13 accused in the mob lynching case of Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand's Saraikela-Kharsawan district, an official said on Tuesday.

The murder charge (Section 302 of the IPC) has been converted into culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304 of the IPC), the official added.

"We have converted Section 302 of the IPC into Section 304 of the IPC only after taking the opinion of the authorities concerned, who were also inconclusive about Tabrez Ansari's death due to lynching," Saraikela-Kharsawan district's superintendent of police Karthik S. told PTI.

The chargesheet against two of the 13 arrested was filed in a local court and the investigation against the rest of the accused will soon be completed, 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 Ansari, who was thrashed by a mob for alleged theft.

Videos showing Ansari being beaten up while tied to a pole had gone viral. The attackers 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 accused of entering a house in a village for stealing.

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

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, he was taken to Sadar Hospital with multiple injuries the same day, the SP said. He was subsequently referred to Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur where he was declared brought dead on June 22. 

A Special Investigation Team 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 chargesheet has been filed against Vikram Mandal and Atul Mahali, the SP said.