One of the accused in the Jharkhand lynching case noticed his cattle being taken away by two men, raised an alarm and prompted villagers to gather and beat up the suspected cattle thieves, police said on Thursday.
Chiraguddin alias Charku Ansari and Murtaza Ansari were beaten to death by a mob in Dhullu-Bankatti village of Godda district on Wednesday. Four people were arrested — Munshi Murmu, a resident of Dhullu village; Kaleshwar Soren and Johan Kisku, residents of Bankatti; and Kishan Rai Tudu, resident of Piraparjoria.
Godda SP Rajiv Ranjan Singh, who held a press conference on Thursday, said: “One of the accused, Munshi Murmu, initially noticed the two people taking away cattle. He suspected something amiss, but did not react. However, one of his relatives, Kaleshwar, identified one of the buffaloes as his own. It was then that the hue and cry over ‘cattle thief’ was raised. While other associates of the two persons managed to escape, people caught hold of them and beat them up. We have dealt with the incident seriously and arrested four people. Probe is on.”
The SP said according to the villagers, one of the deceased opened fire, after which the beating started. “However, we have not found evidence of the firearm being used there. Strict action is being taken against those who took law into their hands. They have been charged with Section 302 (murder) of IPC, besides rioting with arms and weapons and wrongful confinement,” he said.
The SP also said that the incident was not a planned conspiracy, nor was it related to issues of cow protection. “It was something that happened at the moment. Villagers caught a couple of persons, charging them with stealing. People from three or four villagers gathered there. They became restive and led to the incident. But there is no sign or evidence of any preplanning,” he said.
All the accused have been sent to jail. The case was registered on the basis of a complaint by Imran Ansari, son of Charku. The police have also booked the two victims for allegedly stealing cattle.