TWO OF the main accused in the June 29 lynching of meat trader Alimuddin Ansari in Ramgarh surrendered before the Ramgarh district court on Monday. The men, identified as Deepak Mishra and Chhotu Verma, are reported to be prominent members of the local Gau Raksha Samiti. Police said they were among those who had “executed” the attack. Ten people have now been arrested in the case, including five of the 12 accused named in the FIR. Another five persons who were not named in the FIR have also been arrested. A local BJP leader is among those held.
According to the police, Mishra and Verma surrendered before the district court at around noon, following which they were sent to judicial custody. “They surrendered as the police had procured their arrest warrants and had obtained permission to attach their properties. If they had not surrendered today, we would have initiated the proceedings to attach their properties,” said Ramgarh SP Kishore Kaushal.
He said the duo were important functionaries of the Gau Raksha Samiti. While the video clips and photographs available with the police don’t show Mishra and Verma thrashing the victim, police said they beat him up and also instigated others. “They were not only involved in thrashing the victim… they are the ones who executed the attack,” said an official.
Police said Mishra and Verma were known to be involved in “cow protection” activities in the area. According to a police official, most of the others who were detained or questioned claimed that they were at the spot at the behest of the duo.
Police said five persons who were not named in the FIR have been arrested because they could not explain their presence at the spot. “Some lived 8-10 kilometres away from the spot, and could not explain why they were there. Besides, they were involved in raising slogans, ensuring that the victim did not escape and even beating him up,” said a police official.
“We are investigating the call records of the main accused to identify who informed the group and when. But it is clear that there was somebody following Ansari’s movement, and there was a clear plan to intercept him,” said the official.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Raghubar Das said that any outfit which disturbs peace is responsible for hampering development, and all sections of society must identify and report such elements to the police. The state home department also came out with advertisements in local dailies, urging people not to flout the law in the name of cow protection. It also pointed out that “killing cows” is a punishable offence.
Ansari was lynched in Bazar Tand area of Ramgarh town on June 29 for allegedly carrying beef in his vehicle. The mob also torched his vehicle.