A meat trader succumbed to injuries Thursday after he was assaulted by at least 10 men who intercepted his van carrying “cattle meat” in Ramgarh district near Ranchi, Jharkhand Police said. Police identified the victim as Alimuddin Ansari, in his mid-30s, from the Giddi area of Ramgarh. They said the attack was linked to a dispute the trader had with the group, which had been extorting money from him over a period of time.
The attackers also set Ansari’s vehicle ablaze, said police, adding that “heavy security” has been deployed in the area to “maintain calm”. Ansari was rushed to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, where he succumbed to injuries later in the day.
The incident came two days after a 60-year-old man was beaten unconscious by a mob after the carcass of a cow was found outside his house in Giridih district of Jharkhand.
“This is a case of pre-meditated murder, which was made to look like an incident of lynching on the lines of a few incidents that have occurred in the state and other places. There are indications that the assailants, all of whom are from the majority community, would extort money from those allegedly involved in the trade of prohibited meat,” said Jharkhand Police ADG (Operations) R K Mullik.
“Ansari was also chargesheeted in a previous case of kidnapping and murder of a child. The persons identified used to extort money from him. However, there was some dispute over this, which seems to have led to the incident. An FIR naming 10 people is being registered. They have been identified and will be arrested,” said Mullik.
According to local police, Thursday’s incident occurred after Ansari reached the market in the town area of Ramgarh early in the afternoon. “Some people intercepted his Maruti van, which had a West Bengal registration number, and forced him to get out. They began beating him, accusing him of being involved in trading prohibited meat. The assailants then toppled his van and set it afire,” said an officer.
Mullik said initial investigations have indicated that Ansari was followed by the attackers soon after he left his house in Giddi.
“When he reached Ramgarh, a few others were waiting for him. They intercepted the van, thrashed him, set his vehicle afire,” said Mullik.