Tabrez lynching case: Murder charge brought back against all accused

Tabrez Ansari, mob-lynching case, murder charges brought back, beaten up, theft of vehicle, Jai Shri Ram, Jai Hanuman, post-mortem report, cardiac arrest, 13 accused

The Jharkhand police on Wednesday (September 18) reinstated murder charges against all the accused in the mob-lynching case of Tabrez Ansari after the release of a fresh medical report which stated that Ansari’s cardiac arrest was due to an injury caused by a hard and blunt object.

The murder charges against the 13 accused had been dropped eight days ago when the initial post-mortem report had claimed that Ansari died due to a cardiac arrest, and when further details were not available.

The police had converted this case into one of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304, IPC) on the basis of the post-mortem, medical and forensic reports, which had only mentioned that Ansari died of cardiac arrest.

An official here said, as the previous medical report had stated that Ansari’s death was caused due to cardiac arrest and hadn’t been accurate, the police took a second opinion of specialist doctors from the MGM Medical College and Hospital in Jamshedpur.

Also read: Is autopsy report being misused to protect Tabrez Ansari’s killers?

“On the basis of the main findings, we opined that the fracture of bone was a grievous injury caused by a hard and blunt object and the combined effect of fracture of bone, pale organs and heart chambers full of blood resulted in cardiac arrest,” the report by the specialist doctors said.

The police on Wednesday (September 18) then filed a supplementary chargesheet before a court in Seraikela-Kharsawan district on the basis of the new medical report, citing Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the 11 accused, the official said.

Thirteen people had been involved in the lynching of Tabrez Ansari and all of them have been arrested. Earlier, only 11 people were charged with murder but after a thorough probe, the remaining two also were charged with murder.

While the quantum of punishment under Section 302 (murder) is death or imprisonment for life and fine, the penalty under Section 304 is less severe, with imprisonment for life or imprisonment for 10 years or fine or both.

Also read: Why India is showing an increased thirst for instant mob justice

Earlier, the police hadn’t found any distortion of bones in the video that had gone viral on social media platforms, showing Ansari being beaten up by the accused, the official said.

Ansari worked as a labourer and welder in Maharashtra’s Pune and had come home to celebrate Eid when he was captured by locals at Dhatkidih village on the night of June 17 over suspicion of trying to steal a motorcycle.

He was tied to a pole and assaulted by a mob with sticks and iron rods. A video of the incident that went viral and was flashed on television channels showed Ansari being forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman” by his tormentors.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up to look into the case after Ansari was declared “brought dead” by the doctors at the Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur on June 22.

Two policemen were suspended in connection with the incident.

Though there was no evidence of the perpetrators link to any Hindutva organisation, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists had protested against the attacker’s arrest.

(With inputs from agencies)