Jharkhand Police have dropped the murder charge under IPC Section 302 in their chargesheet filed against 11accused in the death of 22-year-old Tabrez Ansari who was attacked by a mob that accused him of theft in Saraikela-Kharsawan nearly four months ago.
Citing the “final post-mortem report” that Ansari died of “cardiac arrest”, and stating that it was “not a case of pre-meditated murder”, police filed the chargesheet last month under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). Police had earlier invoked the murder charge in the FIR filed on a complaint by Ansari’s wife.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Karthik S, Saraikela-Kharsawan SP, said: “We filed a chargesheet under IPC section 304 because of two reasons. One, he did not die at the spot… the villagers did not have any intent to kill Ansari. Second, the medical report did not substantiate the murder charge. The final post-mortem report said Ansari died due to cardiac arrest and that a haemorrhage in the head was not fatal. The second medical opinion said the cause of death was a combination of cardiac arrest and the head injury.”
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On June 18, a mob in Dhatkidih village tied Ansari to a pole, accused him of theft, assaulted him and allegedly forced him to chant “Jai Shri Ram and “Jai Hanuman”. After the assault, Ansari was arrested on charges of theft and sent to judicial custody.
Four days later, he was rushed to a local hospital where he succumbed to injuries sustained in the assault. On June 25, a doctor who conducted the post mortem told The Indian Express that Ansari’s death was “in all possibility” caused by a brain haemorrhage triggered by a head injury.
“There was an injury on the right frontoparietal region… There is a possibility that this led to effusion or oozing of blood from the skull leading to haemorrhage. This could be a possible cause of death,” Dr Bariyal Mari, Deputy Superintendent, Sadar Hospital, had said. At the time, however, the medical board had “reserved” its final opinion on the post-mortem pending results of forensic tests.
After the initial FIR of theft, another FIR was registered under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings…).
Police said the chargesheet was vetted by the prosecution department. “Our motive is to secure a conviction. Initially, we thought we could invoke both 302 and 304 of the IPC, but that could not have gone parallel… The medical reports also did not decisively say death due to haemorrhage. In the court, this could have led to a problem,” said the police officer.
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