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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Eight held after man lynched over suspicion of cow slaughter

Eight people were detained in connection with the alleged crime, but no arrests were made till Monday evening.

ranchi Updated: Sep 24, 2019 12:44 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
The three men, two belonging to the tribal Santhal community, were attacked by a mob that accused them of killing of cow.
The three men, two belonging to the tribal Santhal community, were attacked by a mob that accused them of killing of cow.(Reuters Photo)

A day after a 38-year-old man was lynched and two others seriously hurt in a mob attack over allegations of cow slaughter in Jharkhand’s Khunti district, police lodged a first information report (FIR) into the incident.

Eight people were detained in connection with the alleged crime, but no arrests were made till Monday evening.

“An FIR has been lodged in the case, but no one has been arrested till now. More details in the case will be shared soon,” said superintendent of police, Ranchi (rural), Ashutosh Shekhar, who is also incharge of Khunti district. He said four persons have been named in the FIR apart from 18-19 unknown persons.

“We have questioned around 15 persons till now. Some were asked to leave after questioning, but they have been directed not to leave the area,” added deputy inspector general of police, Ranchi Zone, AV Homkar.

The three men, two belonging to the tribal Santhal community, were attacked on the border of Suari and Jaltanda villages, around 45km from state capital Ranchi, by a mob that accused them of killing of cow, police said.

The victim, Kalantus Barla, was a resident of Gopalpur village, and the two injured are Fagu Kachchap of Kathu Mahuatoli village and Philip Horo of Suari village. Kachchap was admitted to Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) and Horo was being treated at the community health centre (CHC) in Khunti.

Villagers from Suari said that Barla, who was a differently abled person, had come to his sister in-law’s house in Suari on Saturday from Lapung.

On Sunday, the villagers said, there was of a rumour regarding child lifting gang being active in Jaltanda village. To find the child lifters, villagers reportedly reached near a river and allegedly found a cow was being slaughtered by three persons. As the villagers caught hold of them, locals from nearby villages carrying lathis assembly and started assault them.

Shekhar said the police reached the spot soon after being informed and took the assault victims to a local hospital,. where Barla was declared brought dead and the two were admitted to different hospitals.

Kachchap, 40, denied being involved in the slaughter of any cow. “I was working in my farm at Kathi Mahuatoli village. All of a sudden, I saw few people were being chased by a mob. Within a second, I found myself among the mob. One of them from the crowd shouted ‘ye bhi tha wahan (he was also there)’. Then, they started beating me brutally with lathis,” Kachchap said.

“As I raised my hands to stop the raining lathis on me, they broke my left hand. After few minutes, I fainted. When I gained consciousness, I was at RIMS,” he added.

Kachachap said he did not know the other two people being beaten by the mob.

DIG Homkar said that some outsiders did come to the village during the time of the incident. “We are investigating all angles. We will share detailed investigation report in a day or two,” he said.

Several villagers, including more than 50 women, surrounded the Karra police station on Sunday night to protest the detentions of the eight people allegedly involved in the incident and demanded their release. Extra force has been deployed in the area and additional police teams are camping in the two villages, police said.

Reacting on Sunday’s incident, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said, “We have been saying that Jharkhand has turned a lynching state under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime. Law and order situation has gone haywire and lynching has become a common affair in Jharkhand.”

BJP spokesperson, Pratul Shahdeo, said, “It was an unfortunate incident and we condemn it. But, we should also appreciate police, who intervened timely and rescued all three people from the mob. No one died on the spot. A person died during treatment, which is very unfortunate.”

Jharkhand has witnessed several instances of lynching of persons suspected to be cattle traffickers or for alleged cow slaughter. On May 19, 2017, four Muslim cattle traders were lynched in Saraikelka Kharswan district. On June 27, 2017, a mob set on fire house of a dairy owner Usman Ansari after a headless carcass of a cow was found near his home. Ansari was rescued by police. Two days later, a Muslim trader accused of transporting beef was beaten to death in Ramgarh district. Eleven persons were sentenced to life in the case by a local court. On June 13, 2018, a mob lunched two Muslim men branding them as cattle smugglers in Goda district. On April 10, 2019, a tribal Christian was lynched to death and three others were badly beaten by locals in Gumla district after they were found cutting flesh of dead ox.

In Jharkhand, several incidents of beating of persons suspected to be child lifters have been reported since September 1, including lynching of a tribal Christian and injury of two others by locals in Gumla district on suspicion of being child lifters. Several such incidents have been reported from the Hindi heartland. Several state police have issued advisories asking people not to believe in social media messages regarding presence of child lifting gangs in their areas.

First Published: Sep 23, 2019 23:55 IST

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