Hanged by Gau Rakshaks, Denied Justice by the State – Investigative Report on Jharkhand Cow Lynching Released

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From left – Journalists Ajit Sahi and Pranjoy Guha Thakurta, Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, Jharkhand lawyer, JNU research scholar Umar Khalid and Banojyotsna Lahiri of United Against Hate at Press Club of India, New Delhi

The findings of an independent investigation carried out by a coalition of civil society organisations and rights activists were released at the Press Club of India in New Delhi on Monday

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — Full two years ago from now, two Muslims including a minor boy of 12 years were brutally killed and then hanged to a tree by a gang of self-proclaimed Gau Rakshaks in the Latehar district of Jharkhand. There were at least three eyewitnesses and chilling post-mortem reports, yet the police weakened the case and consequently, all the 8 accused of murder of Mazloom Ansari and Imtiaz Ansari were released on bail, leave aside conviction and punishment. These are the findings of an independent investigation into the 18th March 2016 case.

The 26-page investigative report titled “Hanged by Gau Rakshaks, Denied Justice by the State” was released on Monday at the Press Club of India in New Delhi.

“At least three people saw the crime being committed. The eyewitnesses knew at least some of the murderers by face and name. The murderers had previously threatened to kill the victims unless they stopped trading in cattle. Yet, not only did the police not fully investigate the crime on the basis of these eyewitness accounts and testimonies, but also failed to press appropriate charges against the case. This has considerably weakened the case, as a consequence of which every one of the accused was able to secure bail from the Jharkhand High Court,” says the report.

Investigative Report on Sabotage of March 2016 Jharkhand Cow Lynching Case Released

“Hanged by Gau Rakshaks – Denied Justice by the State” is the title of an investigative report on the 18th March 2016 cow lynching case of Jharkhand where two Muslims including a minor boy were killed and then hanged to a tree. The report says that despite the testimonies of eyewitnesses and post-mortem reports, the police weakened the case resulting in the release of all 8 accused on bail. The report was released at the Press Club of India in New Delhi on 02 April 2018 in the presence of Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, senior journalists Pranjoy Guha Thakurta and Ajit Sahi, Banojyotsna Lahiri of United Against Hate and student leader Umar Khalid besides the victim families. The report has been endorsed by 11 civil groups: Alliance for Justice and Accountability (New York), Citizens for Justice and Peace (Mumbai), Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (New Delhi), United Against Hate (New Delhi), Dalit American Coalition (New York), Indian American Muslim Council (Washington D.C.), National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements (New Delhi), Rihai Manch (Lucknow), South Asia Solidarity Group (London), The Quill Foundation (New Delhi), South Asian Solidarity Initiative (New York).

Posted by Caravandaily on Monday, 2 April 2018

The police ignored not only the eyewitnesses but also the unequivocal autopsy reports, it says.

“Besides the powerful eyewitness accounts and other testimonies of the family members, the other substantial piece of evidence that should help adequately establish the crime are the post-mortem report. In both case, the autopsies clearly suggest the victims were brutally set upon before they were hanged,” says the report.

Dr. Laxaman Prasad and Dr. S.K. Singh, the government doctors who conducted the autopsies, explicitly wrote in their remarks that “long, hard, rode like, blunt” weapons were used for various injuries on the two victims’ bodies.

The report was released in the presence of Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, senior journalists Pranjoy Guha Thakurta and Ajit Sahi, Banojyotsna Lahiri of United Against Hate and student leader Umar Khalid besides the victim families. All of them also spoke on the occasion and expressed concern on the way gangs of Gau Rakshaks are enjoying impunity thanks to the biased police and concerned state governments.

Most of the lynching incidents in the name of cow took place in the BJP-ruled states in the last few years. Several such incidents took place in Jharkhand alone, which is under the rule of BJP since 2014.

At the release of the report, families of the victims, including widow of Mazloom Ansari and mother of slain minor boy Imtiaz Ansari also spoke and narrated the ghastly act.

The investigative report has been endorsed by 11 civil groups: Alliance for Justice and Accountability (New York), Citizens for Justice and Peace (Mumbai), Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (New Delhi), United Against Hate (New Delhi), Dalit American Coalition (New York), Indian American Muslim Council (Washington D.C.), National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements (New Delhi), Rihai Manch (Lucknow), South Asia Solidarity Group (London), The Quill Foundation (New Delhi), South Asian Solidarity Initiative (New York).

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