Man lynched by mob in Aligarh on suspicion of being a thief; six arrested - Hindustan Times

Man lynched by mob in Aligarh on suspicion of being a thief; six arrested

Jun 20, 2024 10:51 AM IST

The incident occurred in the Mamu Bhanja locality around 10.15pm and the deceased was identified as Mohammed Farid alias Aurangzeb (35).

Tension gripped parts of Aligarh city in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday after a mob allegedly lynched a 35-year-old Muslim man over suspicion of a theft attempt, police said, adding security was heightened with deployment of additional forces in the affected areas.

Police deployed in Mamu Bhanja locality in Aligarh to ensure peace. (HT)
Police deployed in Mamu Bhanja locality in Aligarh to ensure peace. (HT)

The incident occurred in the Mamu Bhanja locality around 10.15pm on Tuesday and the deceased has been identified as Mohammed Farid alias Aurangzeb (35), a resident of Ghas Ki Mandi locality, police said, adding a case of murder as been registered at the Gandhi Park police station.

On Wednesday, the Mamu Bhanja locality remained tense with both Hindu and Muslim groups gathering at some spots in the old city near Railway Station Road, where some shops shut down their shutters in protest against the incident. The area also witnessed some tense moments when two groups came face to face raising communally charged slogans.

“Tension gripped the area after the incident and heavy police force was deployed to avert any clashes. The law-and-order situation is under control,” inspector general (IG) of police, Aligarh range, Shalabh Mathur said.

Additional personnel from different police stations were deployed in the area, along with those from Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Rapid Action Force (RAF).

On Wednesday, police arrested six accused after registering a first information report (FIR) against 10 named and a dozen unidentified people in connection with the murder. All of them have been booked under sections 302 (murder), 341 (wrongful restraint) as well as those pertaining to rioting under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), police said. Those arrested have been identified as Ankit Varshney, Chirag Varshney, Jai Gopal alias Pandit Vijaygarhwala, Kamal Bansal, Dimpy Agarwal and Rahul Agarwal, police said.

The FIR, seen by HT, was based on a complaint filed by the deceased’s brother Mohammed Zaki, who has alleged that Farid was returning home from work when he was mobbed and thrashed by some residents in the Mamu Bhanja locality around 10.15pm.

“They (accused) gathered with the intention of killing brother Aurangzeb. They had lathi, stick, hockey (stick) and iron rod in hand and attacked my brother after identifying him as a Muslim, they killed him,” the complainant has alleged in the FIR.

The family of the deceased and some members of the minority community have demanded strictest action against the accused while the other side demanded the registration of an FIR claiming the deceased had trespassed into their premises with an intention of theft, the IGP said.

Aligarh senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sanjeev Suman, along with other senior officers, was holding talks with both sides in the Mamu Bhanja locality to ensure that the situation remains under control, Mathur added.

“The Gandhi Park police got information about the incident on Tuesday late night. On reaching the spot, they came to know that a Muslim man had entered the house of a Hindu with the intention of theft but was caught by the family members who along with others in the locality thrashed him. The injured man was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead,” the SSP said.

The post-mortem examination was conducted following which the last rites of the deceased were performed around 2pm, Suman added.

“No one has right to take law in their hands. Even if there was suspicion of Aurangzeb being a thief, he should have been handed over to police. None had any right to beat the man to death even if there was a suspicion,” local Samajwadi Party leader Ajju Ishaq, who led the protest against the incident, said. “The country will run by the Constitution and law of land and a man, even if suspect, cannot be lynched on religious identity.”

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Aligarh Mukta Raja said: “There are certain videos and versions regarding the incident and as such police should conduct complete and fair investigation so that no innocent is punished unnecessarily.”

Defending those named in the FIR, Pradeep Ganga, president, Udyog Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal — a traders’ union in Aligarh — said, “All the six arrested are innocent traders of Aligarh and have no criminal past. They have been wrongly framed… The deceased was accompanied by others and they all were 4 to 6 in number. However, the others moved away but the deceased fell on the stairs of the house they had entered. He was handed over alive to the police but died later.”

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