Anger at Jharkhand lynching: ‘India is mobocracy under Modi rule’

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Murtaza and his brother Chiraguddin, lynched in Jharkhand’s Godda on June 13 morning, were allegedly caught stealing buffaloes, a charge denied by their father, who says his sons were cattle traders

There seems to be no let up in the rise of deadly mobs attacking Muslims in the name of gau raksha (cow protection). In yet another incident of cow vigilantism, a mob lynched two Muslim men on suspicion of being involved in cattle theft in a Jharkhand village early on June 13 morning.

Police have identified the victims as Jirafuddin Ansari (35) and his younger brother Murtaza Miyan (30) from Taljhari village in Godda, about 300km from Ranchi. According to police, Murtaza and his brother Chiraguddin were allegedly caught red-handed while stealing buffaloes at Bannkatti village of Godda, around 500 km from Ranchi, and villagers, who gathered at the spot, thrashed them brutally. Both died on the spot. However, their father has claimed that they were cattle traders.

“Locals rescued 13 buffaloes, captured two men and beat them up leading to their death. Four persons have been arrested so far. Bodies sent for post-mortem,” Superintendent of Police, Rajiv Ranjan Singh was quoted as saying by ANI. According to him, two FIRs have been lodged: One of murder and the other for stealing buffaloes.

“After stealing the buffaloes, they had managed to reach Bankatti village, about 2-3 km away, when the villagers spotted them. A hue and cry were raised. The villagers from where the buffaloes were stolen and those of Bankatti gathered,” Indian Express quoted Singh as saying.

The two victims were residents of Taljhari in the district, about 200 km from Ranchi. The accused villagers, after killing the duo, brought back their bodies to Dullu village on bicycles, according to a PTI report.

A video of the lynching is also making round on social media that shows one of the victims slung over a bamboo pole and being dragged by the attackers. The incident has triggered a social media outrage with many users accusing BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi the rise in mob violence.

The incident in Jharkhand’s Godda comes a week after two men were lynched by a mob in Assam over rumours of child-lifting. At least five people were killed in similar incidents of vigilantism across Telangana and Karnataka in May.

Previously, in March, a Jharkhand court had convicted a local BJP worker and ten others for lynching a Muslim trader in June last year. The convicts had beaten a 55-year-old man to death in Ramgarh district on suspicion of carrying beef in his van.

In a similar incident in Latehar in March 2016, two Muslims—a 32-year-old and a 12-year-old—were kidnapped, brutally assaulted and then hung to death by a group of self-appointed gau rakshaks on the ‘suspicion’ that the two had sold cattle to butchers.

Incidentally, PM Modi in July last year had condemned mob attacks on cattle traders, beef eaters and dairy farmers, saying killing people in the name of protecting cows is unacceptable. Modi’s remarks come on a day a man in Jharkhand was allegedly beaten to death and his vehicle set on fire as he was believed to be carrying beef.

With agency inputs

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