New Delhi: When the Jharkhand police took down Tabrez Ansari’s ‘confession’ in a theft case on June 18, they failed to mention that he had been captured and assaulted by a mob, who also forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. According to a report in the Indian Express, two police personnel have been suspended and 11 people arrested in the assault case.
The violence was recorded on one of the attackers’ mobile phones, and has been shared widely on social media. Ansari died in judicial custody on Saturday.
“We had registered a case against the villagers when we were informed of the beating. We arrested one accused initially, and later 10 others. We found that the officer in charge of Kharsawan police station and an ASI did not handle the matter with sensitivity. They did not apprise senior officers of the situation,” Karthik S., SP of Saraikela-Kharsawan, told the Indian Express.
“We have suspended two police personnel for the lapses. A DSP-rank officer is heading the SIT inquiring the matter and we will get all the facts. There is also a possibility that Tabrez did not say anything to the police on the beating during his confession,” he continued.
Ansari’s family has raised questions on the police’s role and said it would have been impossible for them not to know about the assault. “I cannot believe that he never said anything to police about the beating. The police deliberately left it out. Were the police blind that they did not see that he was badly beaten? Why could the doctors not see his pain?” his uncle, Maqsood Alam, told the newspaper.
The police was forced to take cognisance of the violence when Ansari’s wife, Shaista Parveen, filed a complaint on Saturday against ten accused persons. The FIR was filed only after the video of the violence had gone viral and led to public outrage.
Ansari’s confessions contains a detailed account of the theft allegedly carried out by him and two others, but does not saying anything about the violence he faced. It only says that he was “caught” by the villagers.
The Jharkhand police has been criticised for its handling of other mob violence and lynching cases as well. In Dumri district, for instance, cases have been filed against Adivasi victims of mob violence – while the perpetrators roam scot-free. The FIR and several discrepancies in the police’s report seem to suggest bias against the victims.