There was no premeditation in the 11 defendants. Last June, Tabrez Ansari, 24, was tortured for eight hours, then arrested for theft. According to activists, his murder was fuelled by a climate of hatred towards the Muslim minority.
New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Police in Jharkhand dropped murder charges against 11 defendants accused of lynching and torturing Tabrez Ansari, a 24-year-old Muslim who was left to die. According to the young man's autopsy report, he died from "cardiac arrest", not premeditated murder.
The Tabrez Ansari case goes back to June. A video of his lynching was made with a phone and posted on social media.
He had been accused of stealing a motorbike. However, according to Indian activists, Islamophobia fuelled the violent beating, as Muslims are accused of threatening sacred cows by being involved in the cattle trade.
According to Hindu tradition, cows are sacred animals and eating their meat is forbidden for Hindus. In some states ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or its allies the sale of beef is banned.
Ansari’s lynching has outraged ordinary Indians because of the violence and torture. Tied to a pole for eight hours, he was forced to sing praises to Hindu gods (Jai Shri Ram, Jai Shri Hanuman, Hail to the god Ram, Hail to the god Hanuman).
He was eventually arrested for theft and held in jail for four days before being taken to hospital where he died from his injuries.
The first autopsy found that his death was caused by severe head injury causing brain hemorrhage.
However, according to Karthik S, police superintendent in Seraikela-Kharsawan, murder charges were dropped because the victim “did not die on the spot ... The villagers did not have any intent to kill. The final post-mortem report said Ansari died due to cardiac arrest and that a hemorrhage in the head was not fatal.”