Family members of the cattle traders, who were killed and their bodies hanged from a tree in Balumath area of Jharkhand’s Latehar district on March 18, have decided against visiting Ranchi to meet Chief Minister
While the families said they had informed the administration of their decision, officials said they were yet to receive a formal communication.
The CM had invited family members of the victims—Mohammad Majloom Ansari (35) of Nawada village and Inayatullah Khan (12) of Arahara village—to Ranchi after offering a compensation of Rs 1 lakh. The families had refused to accept the compensation cheque, saying the amount was too little.
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Majloom’s brother Munnavvar Ansari said: “We are very clear about our decision. First, we can’t leave our house for 40 days as part of the rituals following death. The bigger question is why can’t the CM come here. If he felt our pain, he should have. We informed the officials of our decision in the morning. But they kept insisting. That is why we did not respond to their calls later in the day.”
Munnavvar said a final decision on whether to visit Ranchi or not was taken after the Friday prayers at a meeting attended by religious leaders and JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Malauna Gulam Rasool Balyavi, who is also an office-bearer of Markazi Edara-e-Sharif, a socio-religious organisation active in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha.
Balyavi, however, said he had only gone to meet the victims’ families.
“They are not wrong if they have decided so. The government should announce a compensation of Rs 50 lakh each and institute a CBI inquiry in the case,” he said.
Latehar DC Ravi Shankar Shukla said: “When our officials went to Nawada this morning, they were told that a final decision regarding their (the families) visit to Ranchi would be taken after the Friday prayers..”
SDO Kamleshwar Narayan said, “After the Friday prayers, we went to Majloom’s house, where we found only his mother. She told us that she was ill and unaware about the whereabouts of the male members. We were told that one of them had gone to his shop. We checked there and also tried to contact them over phone. Attempts were made to get in touch with Khan’s family too. Nobody has responded. As of now, we have sent the cheques back to Ranchi.”
Officials have claimed that the 40-day ritual was only for the wife of the deceased. “Other family members could have visited Ranchi,” said an official.