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Communalism

Bihar: Muslim Man Lynched After Village Sarpanch Accused Him of Carrying Beef

The victim's family has accused the local police of not acting swiftly and trying to cover up the crime.

New Delhi: A Muslim man in Bihar’s Saran district was reportedly lynched by a mob on Tuesday after being accused of carrying beef.

Naseeb Qureshi’s nephew Firoz Ahmed Qureshi told The Telegraph that the sarpanch of Jogia village told people in the area “we were carrying meat and asked them to beat us”. By meat the sarpanch was alluding to beef, Firoz added, the sale and consumption of which is illegal in Bihar.

“While entering the village, we saw the sarpanch and a few youths with him. He (the sarpanch) told them we were carrying meat and asked them to beat us,” Firoz said. “Our vehicle (a moped) had slowed down. I jumped off and escaped. Some of the youths chased me.”

An FIR had been registered under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 379 (theft – because some money Naseeb was carrying is missing). The sarpanch, Sushil Singh, and two others – Ravi Sah and Ujwal Sharma – have been arrested.

According to NDTV, Naseeb (the channel has said his name is Naseem) and Firoz were on their way to meet some acquaintances when they were accosted by the mob. While Firoz managed to escape, Naseeb was beaten with wooden sticks. After beating him, the police said, the mob handed Naseeb over to the police in Rasulpur village.

He was then taken to hospital, police said, but died during treatment.

Firoz, The Telegraph reported, has alleged that the police did not act swiftly enough on Tuesday morning. After he escaped, he made his way to the Rasulpur police station by foot. There, he was told that the police had already gone to Jogia, and taken Naseeb to Daraunda police station in Siwan, in whose area the victim’s village of Hasanpura falls.

“(At Rasulpur police station), a person claiming to be the mukhiya of Rasulpur said my uncle was feeling unwell and had been taken to Daraunda,” Firoz said. Why he was taken to another police station instead of a hospital is a question that remains.

“When I started arguing, the man claiming to be the mukhiya asked me to shut up and said he had saved my uncle despite his act of carrying beef,” Firoz said, according to The Telegraph. “The police personnel present were not helping me, either. I moved out because I did not feel safe there. I went to Daraunda police station.”

At Daraunda, Firoz was told that his uncle had been taken to a nearby hospital. When he went there, he found out that his uncle had been sent to Siwan Sadar Hospital, about 20 km away. “The doctors at Siwan Sadar Hospital referred him to Patna. He died on the way,” Firoz said.

Naseeb’s younger brother, Ashraf, has accused the Rasulpur police of trying to protect the accused and cover up the crime, The Telegraph has reported. He has also alleged that Naseeb was transported on a motorcycle instead of an ambulance.