Communalism

Lapses by Cops, Doctors Led to Tabrez Ansari's Death, Finds Probe Panel

The June 17 incident was reported to the police around 1 am, but they took action only after 6 am, the report finds.

New Delhi: Police negligence and doctors’ lapses led to the death of Tabrez Ansari, a 24-year-old Muslim man who was beaten up by a mob which forced him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”, a three-member probe team has said.

The panel had been constituted by the Saraikela-Kharsawan district administration in Jharkhand.

Two police officers have already been suspended in the case and action will be taken against the “erring doctors,” the team said in its report.

Ansari was attacked by the mob on June 17. He was tied to a pole and thrashed for over seven hours on charges of theft before being handed over to police.

A severely wounded Ansari was taken to a district hospital, which surprisingly cleared him for jail custody.

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Four days later, on June 22, when his condition deteriorated, he was rushed to another hospital, where the doctors declared him “brought dead”. Ansari had reportedly suffered serious injuries on the head.

“There was negligence on the part of the police and the doctors. While the police reached late, the doctors did not see (diagnose) his skull injury,” Saraikela-Kharswan deputy commissioner Anjaneyulu Dodde, who headed the team, was quoted by PTI as having said.

An independent report written by a fact-finding team of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha had, on June 27, noted how Ansari’s family were allegedly threatened by police with a similar fate when they begged for him to be given treatment while he was bleeding profusely in custody. In the lockup, the family allegedly found the main accused, Pappu Mandal, addressing Ansari, asking him why he was not dead yet, in spite of the severe beatings they administered on him.

Echoing Dodde, civil surgeon A.N. Dey who had been transferred to Khunti after the incident, told PTI that an x-ray and full body scan should have been carried out, but the tests were not performed as “there was no symptom of brain injury.” The PTI report, however, did not name Dey.

The probe report also stated that the police did not respond on time.

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“The June 17 incident was reported to the police around 1 am, but they took action only after 6 am,” the inquiry team said, adding that viscera samples of Ansari have been sent to the forensic department in Ranchi to ascertain the cause of his death.

A report by Indian Express, however, named Saraikela sub-divisional magistrate Basharat Qayyum, A.N. Dey and sub-divisional police officer (headquarter) Chandan Kumar as the three members of the panel.

Qayyum also highlighted the doctors’ lapses to the newspaper. “Sub-arachnoid haemorrhage could be a possible cause of death and cannot be ruled out. Injuries were not detected initially and no investigations were ordered. Not even blood pressure and pulse were recorded. This was the initial lapse,” he was quoted as having said.

Qayyum also mentioned the doctors’ decision to deem Ansari fit for travel as a lapse.

Eleven people, including Pappu Mandal, have been arrested so far in connection with the incident.

(With PTI inputs)