After Dadri, Lynchings of Two Muslims At Latehar
 (Fact finding report team comprising ML State Secretary Janardan Prasad, MLA Rajkumar Yadav, Palamu district Secretary RN Singh, Ramvilas Singh, Sarfaraz Alam, AIPF Campaign Committee member Yugal Pal, Ravindra Ram, Anil Anshuman, Dhiraj Kumar, and members of the Ranchi Anjuman Islamia.)

ON 18 March Majloom Ansari (32) of Nawada village (Latehar district) and Imtiaz Ansari (12), of Arhara village started at 3.30 am from Nawada village to the Latehar haat bazaar with 8 bullocks for sale. After 10 km they reached Jhabar village where members of the ‘Gauraksha Samiti’ (cow protection outfit associated with the RSS) caught both of them, tied their hands and mouth, and beat them up brutally. Both were killed and strung up from a tree.

At around 6 am, Majloom’s trader friends tried to search the two but they were chased away by the killers when they were on way to Jhabar village. Around 7.30 am Majloom’s younger brother somehow reached the spot where two local journalists had reached before them. The police reached only at around 8 am. The victims’ families were unaware of the ghastly killings till that moment; police and the local journalists had come there on intimation from some other source. Had someone from among the perpetrators informed the Press in order to create a sensation?

The victims’ family members opposed the police when they tried to take away the dead bodies from the spot. Majloom’s younger brother searched his pocket and found only Rs 250 whereas according to him Majloom had started from home with Rs 5000-7000. The SIM of their mobiles had been broken and thrown at the spot, and there was no trace of both mobiles.

At around 10 am people brought the dead bodies near the thana and blocked the road with demands for arrest of the murderers and compensation for the victims’ families. The people blockaded the road till afternoon. The villagers agreed to take the dead bodies with them after talks with the Latehar district SP Birthare who had reached to the spot. When they were preparing to take the bodies with them, police led by Chandwa thana incharge Ratan Kumar Singh suddenly started a brutal lathi charge which not only left many injured but also created a stampede. The police also fired many rounds of bullets on the already frightened villagers.

Later the Chandwa thana incharge pulled at the beard of the deceased Majloom’s grieving elder brother inside thana, shouting that Muslims would be taught a lesson.
This incident is no spontaneous ‘anger at cow slaughter.’ The team found no communal enmity between Hindus and Muslims of the village – rather, the Hindus have resolved not to celebrate Holi but instead to hold a peace march to protest the killings.

It was a handful of Gauraksha Samiti men who cold-bloodedly committed the lynching early in the morning when the villagers were not even awake. This incident is the result of a well-planned conspiracy. BJP leaders talk of politicization by other parties but in truth it is they who are creating communal polarization for political gains.

Both the victims come from extremely poor families. They earned their livelihood by selling bullocks for agricultural work or milch cows at bazaars. Majloom’s family was entirely dependent on him, while Imtiyaz, at the tender age of 12, was the support for his entire family, since his father is crippled and his elder brother mentally challenged.

A national-level ‘cow propagandist’ Acharya Gopal Mani Ji Maharaj is said to be behind the assault; his supporters are known to paint slogans on walls instigating people to hang those who eat beef. The local BJP MP from Chatra is known to have attended public meetings addressed by this hate-monger. BJP leaders at known to attend events of the ‘cow vigilantes’ in Ranchi also.

After the formation of the BJP government in Jharkhand various outfits linked with the BJP have perpetrated over a dozen incidents of communal violence. Many communal incidents have taken place in Balumath (Latehar) earlier. About a year ago, in the Murapa region of Balumath, a Muslim youth married a girl from a Baniya family because of which all the Muslims of that area were boycotted. For several months Muslims were not allowed to travel on public transport vehicles. Men from the Gauraksha Samiti have on many occasions beaten up Muslims in Jhabar where these killings took place. These incidents were intended to keep the Muslims in a state of constant fear.

This latest incident of terror is neither a common criminal incident nor is it a result of sudden social anger as the ruling BJP is now trying to portray. This is a result of a well-thought out conspiracy and long term planning.

The CPI(ML) has demanded a high level judicial inquiry into the incident particularly of the people who are behind the said Gauraksha Samiti, criminal action against Chandwa thana incharge who played a role in inflaming communal tension and abusing the Muslim community, compensation to the families of Majloom and Imtiyaz and employment for their dependents.

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