NEW DELHI – The brutal lynching of a young Muslim man in India has become an object of national attention after a video of the incident went viral, prompting nearly a dozen arrests, and an investigation into a potential cover-up.
Police arrested 11 people on Monday in connection to the lynching after the victim’s family showed them the video of the incident that was already spreading rapidly online. The disturbing 10-minute-long clip shows 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari being beaten with sticks by at least a dozen people while tied to a pole.
Ansari was allegedly caught by civilians during an attempted robbery in Jharkhand, a state in eastern India, at which point a mob formed to take measures into their own hands.
After forcing Ansari to reveal his name, the assailants demanded that he repeat the phrase “Jai Shri Ram” (Hail Lord Ram), which has recently come to be associated with Hindu nationalist movements. The abuse was carried out in the open; people can be heard laughing in the background and children are present at the scene.
Police say that the mob tortured the young man for 12 hours before turning him in. When Ansari was finally brought to the authorities, those who handed him over reportedly claimed he had injured himself falling off a roof during an attempted burglary. After being refused immediate medical care, he later died as a result of his injuries.
To make matters even worse, the Jharkhand state government is now saying that local police failed to report what happened to higher authorities. Two officers have since been suspended over the incident, and a probe has been launched against a doctor who examined Ansari when he was first brought in but didn’t recommend he be hospitalized.
The horrific attack has become a lightning-rod for broader issues of mob violence in India and rising tensions between the country’s Hindu and Muslim populations, prompting reactions from numerous government figures. Opposition People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Muft wrote on Twitter accusing the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of emboldening violent far-right Hinduism in Jharkhand.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also highlighted the Indian state’s propensity for extrajudicial violence, describing it as a “lynching factory.”
SOURCE: RT News