RANCHI – Jharkhand Police said they dropped charges under IPC Section 302 (murder) against the accused in the death of 22-year-old Tabrez Ansari because it was “not a case of pre-meditated murder” and that he died following a cardiac arrest, not just a head injury.
However, according to The Indian Express, an analysis of the chargesheet, key testimonies and case diaries raise questions about this conclusion. Ansari’s uncle Mohammad Masroor Alam, who rushed to the spot on hearing about the assault, recorded this statement: He heard a member of the mob shout, “Itna maaro ki mar jaye (Beat him so much that he dies).”
Alam was among the 24 witnesses whose statements are recorded in the chargesheet filed in the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court on July 23.
The chargesheet also refers to a preliminary report by the board of doctors that conducted the post mortem, which says if the viscera report does not point to “poison”, the cause of death was a head injury.
But then, case diaries show that police already invoked IPC Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against the accused when the viscera was sent to the forensics lab. In other words, they did not rely on the viscera report while dropping Section 302 from the chargesheet.
Crucially, the case diaries note: “After viscera report, there is a possibility that there could be change in IPC sections.”
On June 18, a mob in Dhatkidih village of Saraikela-Kharawan district accused Ansari of theft, tied him to a pole and assaulted him. Video clips of the attack showed the mob forcing Ansari to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman” during the assault.
Ansari, who was taken in police custody on suspicion of theft, died four days later in a local hospital.