Muslim Driver, 27, Lynched in Jhakhand Village; Police File FIR, Name 17 Accused

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Mubarak Khan

Media reports citing police say he was caught while stealing. But his relatives say it’s a premeditated murder

Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — Mubarak Khan, a 27-year-old driver, was beaten to death by a group of men on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday in Sirka village, 30 kilometres to the east of Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, Police and locals said.

Media reports citing police say he was caught while stealing. But his relatives say it’s a premeditated murder as he was called from home and killed.

The police said they have registered a case of murder in Angara police station and have opened the investigation. “We have filed an FIR under section 302 and are working on it,” Naushad Alam, Superintendent of Police, Ranchi Rural, told Clarion India over the phone. “We have to also maintain law and order. The process has started and we have sent the body for post mortem.”

The police have named at least 17 men as accused in the case while trying to establish identities of several others.

Initial media reports citing police officials said that Mubarak was caught trying to steal the battery and tyres of a motorcycle. The villagers thrashed him to death on the spot.

Alam, while talking to the media, said as per information Mubarak and two of his associates had attempted to remove the tyre and battery of a bike. “When they were found, they tried to run away but Mubarak was caught and his feet and arms were tied and he was beaten which caused his death on the spot,” Alam said. “We will investigate the matter and hear both sides before reaching any conclusion.”

But Mubarak’s relatives and neighbours have disputed such reports saying that it was a “pre-planned murder” as he was called to the spot and then beaten to death. “They (the alleged murderers) called him at around 11 in the night while he was at his home making omelette for dinner,” said Zakir Khan, a neighbour of Mubarak. “He went there quickly but they tied him to a pole and beat him until he passed away.”

Zakir questioned the stealing allegations claiming that the accused planted a battery and a jack of a four-wheeler at the spot of the murder. “Why would a thief use a four-wheeler jack for a two wheeler.”

Zakir said that Mubarak’s brother told him that a few days ago there was a quarrel between Mubarak and accused men “who threatened to kill him.” A relative of Mubarak also claimed that he was given a life threat a week ago. “We want action in the case otherwise we can take any step,” he said.

The murder has triggered anger among the Muslim community of the area who demand justice. A video of a group of Muslim women has went viral on social medi where one of them is saying they don’t want revenge but justice. “People from their (accused) village work here. We could have held them hostage but Muslims do not do such acts. We do not want a life for a life. We want justice,” she says.

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