According to Ainul Ansari’s family, he was carrying mutton, not beef.
A Muslim man in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district was attacked by a mob on Tuesday (June 6) morning on suspicions that he was carrying beef to an Iftar party, Hindustan Times reported. Thirty-five-year-old Ainul Ansari was riding his scooter from Murahdih (where he lives) to Barbadda village when he was allegedly stopped by a group of around 20 people who thought that he was carrying beef. While they were attacking him, someone apparently informed the police.
The police arrived and stopped the assault, according to Barbadda police station officer-in-charge Dinesh Kumar. “The irate mob insisted that we search the victim’s scooter. We did so and recovered meat – probably beef – from its storage compartment,” Kumar told Hindustan Times. Ansari is now recovering at Patliputra Medical College Hospital.
Ansari’s wife, Sahida Begum, said he was not carrying beef. “We planned to hold an Iftar party at our house on Tuesday evening. Ansari was bringing mutton for the event, but the villagers mistook it for beef,” she told the newspaper.
“Something like this has never happened before. We source our mutton for Iftar parties from Dhanbad because it is cheaply available there. But there’s a lot of fear now. How are we – poor village folk – supposed to celebrate the festival in such circumstances?” another resident of Murahdih told Hindustan Times.
Subash Mishra, who first reported the incident for Hindustan Times, told The Wire, “A few villagers were keeping a watch on Ansari’s movements. They believed that Ansari sourced beef from Wasseypur and sold it in his village. The day he was attacked, he was allegedly carrying almost 20 kg of meat.”
He added that the mob also took away Rs 1,500 and a mobile phone that Ansari was carrying.
Mishra said a new state law, following in the footsteps of Uttar Pradesh, had recently banned all unlicensed slaughter houses. “After the law was passed, even mutton is difficult to source,” Mishra said.
With it becoming difficult to source meat locally, most Muslim residents, who consume halal meat, are forced to get their meat from far-off licensed slaughterhouses.
Dhiraj Kharkho, junior sub-inspector of the Barbadda police station told The Wire, “None of the two parties came forward to lodge a complaint. The police took suo motu action and filed a FIR. The meat sample,too, has been sent to Ranchi laboratory for identification.”
He further said that while the police have accused ten persons in the mob attack case, the FIR also claims that Ansari was carrying “prohibited” meat.
Contrary to what Mishra claimed, Kharkho said that he was carrying only 4-5 kg of meat. He, however, could not explain why the FIR claimed Ansari was carrying “prohibited” meat even as the police awaits confirmation from the laboratory.