BJP leader arrested in Muslim trader’s lynching case; prime accused surrenders
Mahto, who is the BJP’s Ramgarh district media in-charge, claimed innocence, saying he had visited the spot after the police arrived to take stock of the incident.india Updated: Jul 01, 2017 23:51 IST
Ramgarh police have arrested a BJP leader, Nityanand Mahto on Saturday in connection with the lynching of a Muslim trader Alimuddin by a mob in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh two days back.
The main accused Chottu Rana, who was seen beating Alimuddin with a stick repeatedly in a video, surrendered before the court, Ramgarh superintendent of police, Kaushal Kishore said.
55-year-old Alimuddin alias Asgar Ali was lynched by a frenzied mob of about 100 people for allegedly carrying beef in his car. The incident happened at the Bazartand market of the district on Thursday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he disapproved killing people in the name of protecting cows.
A video of the brutal incident also went viral following which police have arrested eight of the 13 people named in the FIR. The other five have been identified and would be arrested soon, officials said.
Mahto, who is the BJP’s Ramgarh district media- in-charge, claimed innocence, saying he had visited the spot after the police arrived to take stock of the incident, and demanded a fair investigation into the matter.
The police had also detained a member of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) of Ramgarh district for interrogation but released him later due to lack of evidence, police sources said.
On the arrest of saffron activists, state BJP’s media in-charge Shivpujan Pathak said the party will not defend anybody, but added that all the accused had the right to a fair trial.
He also reiterated chief minister Raghubar Das’s assurance to not spare anyone involved in the case, whatever his/her socio-political stature was. “He (CM) has also instructed the police in this regard.”
On Friday, police had formed a special investigation team (SIT) under deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and constituted four teams to nab the accused.
The criminal investigation department (CID), headquarters, also formed a special team to assist the SIT in Ramgarh.
“We have sought arrest warrants against seven other accused named in the FIR,” said Ramgarh deputy development commissioner (DDC) Sunil Kumar.
Inspector General (IG) ML Meena, also in-charge of law and order in north Chhotanagpur region, took stock of the situation in Ramgarh district along with other officials on Friday.
Meena had said that the prohibitory orders in Ramgarh will not be withdrawn until the situation returns to normal.
Thursday’s lynching was the second attack in June by cow vigilantes in Jharkhand as a 200-strong mob thrashed a 55-year-old Muslim dairy owner and set his house ablaze after a cow carcass was found near his home in Giridih district on Tuesday.
In May, a mob lynched four Muslim cattle traders at a village in Saraikelka Kharswan district after accusing them of being child traffickers.