Days after the Jharkhand Police’s decision to drop the murder charge against 13 men accused of lynching Tabrez Ansari drew widespread outrage, the Sarikela-Kharsawan police Wednesday invoked the murder charge against all the accused in a supplementary chargesheet filed in the court, citing a fresh medical report.
In a statement, the Jharkhand Police said that in the first chargesheet, “opinion on the cause of death” was kept “reserved” in the viscera report. And on invoking the murder charge under Section 302 of the IPC, police said they had “additional evidence” like the opinion sought from a second medical board of directors, which opined that Ansari’s death was due to the combined effect of “injury and cardiac arrest” and that the video was not tampered with.
A welder, Ansari (22) was accused of theft by a mob in Dhatkidih village of Sarikela-Kharsawan on June 18. He was tied to a pole and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram, Jai Hanuman”. Police later arrested Ansari and booked him on theft charges while doctors at the Sadar Hospital declared him “fit for travel”. Four days later, Ansari died while being rushed to hospital after he collapsed inside jail.
In the first chargesheet presented to court on July 23, police had not included murder charges against the accused, and invoked instead IPC Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). Then, SP Saraikela Karthik S had justified the move, saying the viscera report did not point to anything “conclusive” and that the murder was “not premeditated”.
The police statement Wednesday said: “It is clear that in the previous chargesheet, doctors had reserved their opinion on the cause of death as per post mortem report received by police. After the viscera report was received, doctors said that death was due to cardiac arrest.”
The statement said that since the cause of cardiac arrest was not clear, police sent the entire report to a board of doctors at MGM Hospital. The doctors opined: “The fracture of bone is grievous injury caused by hard and blunt object. The combined effect of fracture of bones, pale organs and heart chambers full of blood resulted in cardiac arrest.”