Jharkhand- Muslim Man Made To Chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ And Lynched

The 24-year-old was tied to a pole and beaten up with sticks.

A 24-year-old man named Tabrez Ansari was attacked by a mob in Jhankhand’s Kharsawan district and beaten up mercilessly for hours on 18 June. He died in the hospital on 22 June, allegedly from the injuries. 

The SP of Kharsawan told HuffPost India that Tabrez was handed over to the police after being beaten up and was in judicial custody since June 18. On the morning of 22 June, his condition worsened and he was taken to the hospital where he died. While many people were involved in the mob that beat up Tabrez, the primary accused — one Pappu Mandal — was arrested after his death. 

“Tabrez was with two other men who had gone there to steal. The villagers caught them. While two of the men fled, Tabrez was caught by the villagers and beaten up,” Chandan Kumar Sinha, SP of Seraikella-Kharsawan told HuffPost India. The incident took place in Dhatkidih, roughly 10 kilometres from where Tabrez lived.

Aurungzeb Ansari, a Jharkhand-based activist, told HuffPost India that the man worked as a labourer and welder in Pune. A month ago, Tabrez returned to his village to get married and also celebrate Eid with his wife and family. 

The activist said that on 18 June, Tabrez left for Jamshedpur at 5pm with two other men from his neighbourhood. On investigating, Ansari later found that the men he had left with has a ‘dubious’ reputation in the neighbourhood. 

“Their background is slightly sketchy and Tabrez did not know them very well. I think he was manipulated into going with them, we are still speaking to locals and figuring the matter,” Ansari said.

He added that the mob accused Tabrez of being a thief and beat him up, while the other two men fled and has been absconding.

The entire incident of lynching was recorded and shared on WhatsApp and two of the videos have been shared by Ansari and a human rights lawyer with HuffPost India. In the first half-minute long video, Tabrez is shown squatting on a grassy patch of land as a mob stands behind him and shouts. One man, whose face is not visible, is seen hitting Tabrez with a wooden stick as the latter screams and begs to be let off. The clips don’t show the faces of the people in the mob.

The second is a ten-minute long video where Tabrez is seen tied to a pole, while men keep beating him with sticks. In the snatches of conversation in Hindi, the mob is heard accusing Tabrez of entering one of their houses. “Ghar main ghusega (You will enter the house?),” men are heard shouting at him. The young man is heard denying he entered the house and saying the other two men did, and he had no clue what was going on.

He is later heard saying he was asked to stand downstairs and the two men went inside a building. “I did not know anything,” he says.

Then the mob asks for his name and asks him to repeat it several times, while beating him. “People know me as Sonu in my village, they don’t call me Tabrez,” he says. They ask for names of the members of his family. A bike, that the other two men had left behind is also mentioned.

All this while, Tabrez is seen gasping for breath, crying and shrieking. The men in the mob keep threatening him that he will be ‘beaten up a lot’ that day. 

They also comment on the absconding men and say that they have left him behind to get attacked. “My mother is dead. I am a Muslim, I am swearing on my mother, I did not…,” Tabrez is heard saying.

Towards the end of the video, the man asks people to step back, asks the victim to shut up and then demands Tabrez chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. At first Tabrez shakes his head and soon enough, as the crowd starts chanting Jai Shri Ram, he is seen chanting the refrain along with them. 

“Jai Shri Ram, Jai Shri Ram, Jai Shri Ram, Jai Hanuman,” Tabrez is seen chanting.

Ansari said he has appealed to the local police superintendent to investigate the matter and arrest both the Muslim men who accompanied Tabrez and the men who lynched him. “I am sure he was not a thief and was fooled by the other men, no one in the locality said Tabrez as having a criminal past. But even if someone is caught, you turn him to the police. He was beaten up for hours, made to chant Hindu religious slogans ― how is that a fair punishment,” Ansari said.

Seraikella-Kharsawan deputy SP confirmed that an FIR has been lodged in the incident on Saturday.

Jharkhand had witnessed a spate of lynchings in the past few years. In 2016, a Muslim cattle trader and a 12-year-old boy accompanying him was beaten up and killed by a mob and their bodies hung from a tree in Latehar district.

Eight men were sentenced to life for the killings. In 2018, Union minister Jayant Sinha faced criticism for garlanding seven men accused of killing a Muslim tempo driver in Ramgarh on suspicion of smuggling cow meat.

The men were later released on bail after which they met Sinha. BJP’s Raghubar Das, chief minister of Jharkhand, however had ordered ‘strict action’ against the ‘culprits’ responsible for the Ramgarh lynching incident. 


How Hindi cinema taught a medical reporter to see doctors without their halos

Sohini Chattopadhyay June 22, 2019 16:43 IST Updated: June 21, 2019 16:51 IST

A poster of Placebo

A poster of Placebo   Sohini Chattopadhyay June 22, 2019 16:43 IST Updated: June 21, 2019 16:51 IST more-in

After Munna Bhai, the doctor has largely been a negative character in the Hindi film

The documentary Placebo (2014) was made in search of answers to an act of impulsive violence that its executor could not explain. Sahil Kumar, an MBBS student at All India Institute of Medical Sciences punched his right hand through a window pane, damaging his nerves so badly that he needed two surgeries and eventually had to learn how to write with his left hand. What brought on this moment? Sahil’s brother Abhay Kumar entered his hostel, initially for a period of three months, to understand what drove his high-achieving brother to this act of savage self-harm. Three months became a couple of years, during which no one at AIIMS realised they had an outsider among them. The film explores this numbness, this unseeing that the hallowed corridors of a prestigious medical school produces.

“In Julius Caesar, Brutus’ wife Portia commits suicide and Brutus says that everybody dies some day or the other. She died today. As I’ve gotten into this career, I have become more and more stoic. I feel less afraid of death… I feel a kind of indifference,” says Sethi, a student Kumar follows in the film. At one point, Sahil says that he felt “all the sadness of the world had crept up and filled into him” when he smashed his fist.

Does medical education deaden students? Does the near impossibility of getting into medical school produce disdain for those who are not medical students? Does this mix of detachment and triumphalism thicken into that waxy mask many doctors in India wear?

The companion piece to Placebo is the 2003 film Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.. Here too, the title character is a trespasser in a medical school, who has cheated his way in. In the first classroom scene, the dean tells the students that a patient should mean nothing more than a sick body to them. In response, Munna asks: “When a patient is dying in the casualty ward, is it necessary to fill a form?”

If cinema is a lens to society, these two films tell you a couple of things — why doctors evoke such dislike, and why they appear dehumanised and alienated, out of love with the work they have spent so many years training for. The terrific success of Munna Bhai suggested that it acknowledged a long-held public sentiment. After Munna Bhai, the doctor has largely been a negative character in the Hindi film: In Andhadhun, the doctor is a mild-mannered organ trafficker; in smaller films like Rahasya, Waiting and Ankur Arora Murder Case, doctors are murderers, racketeers, adulterers and megalomaniacs.

But even earlier, the Hindi film doctor was alienated and disillusioned, sometimes corrupt and unfeeling. Perhaps Bollywood’s most famous doctor is Amitabh Bachchan’s Dr. Bhaskar Banerjee in Anand. He spends his evenings drinking and writing. He is bored of his rich, hypochondriac patients. Bachchan played another leading role as doctor in Bemisal. His friend, played by Vinod Mehta, is a money-minded gynaecologist who performs abortions without permission and adequate care. When a patient dies and a criminal case looms, Bachchan’s character (a paediatrician) takes the blame and goes to jail because he owes his friend’s family a childhood debt. Already, one image of the doctor is a corrupt, criminal professional.

In Ek Doctor Ki Maut, based on the life of Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay, who pioneered IVF treatment in India in the 1970s, we see what happens to the good, research-obsessed doctor caught in a petty establishment. In the movie, a doctor (played by Pankaj Kapur) invents a vaccine for leprosy, working without institutional support, storing a test tube in his home refrigerator. But the government and his medical colleagues discredit his work, and later, American doctors are credited with the discovery of a leprosy vaccine. The real-life Dr. Mukhopadhyay killed himself when his research was labelled fraudulent.

We see the uncomplicated doctor as hero between the 40s and 60s, in Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani where V. Shantaram plays a real-life doctor who served Indian soldiers injured in China during WWII; and Dil Ek Mandir, where a surgeon played by Rajendra Kumar saves his former girlfriend’s husband. In both, the doctor dies, but these are heroic deaths.

In a sense, Amitabh Bachchan’s career draws the arc of the Hindi film doctor — from the disillusioned Dr. Banerjee in Anand to the guilt-ridden Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde in Bemisal to the Bhaskor Banerjee in Piku who only trusts a homeopath to understand the problems of the body. It is interesting that Hindi cinema has read the relationship between doctors and society so astutely.

I remember being undercover at a maternity ward in a government hospital, and seeing medical students bark at birthing mothers even though there were only two deliveries taking place. They snapped at the families of patients. “All of you are called Najma bibi. Which Najma bibi?”

Reporting on HIV, I have seen activists worry about how best to approach doctors about drug shortages so that they don’t lose their temper. Interviewing doctors about drug shortages, I’ve heard them complain that HIV patients write too many emails.

We are probably too awed by doctors as a society, too dependent on them in our individual crises, to perceive them as they are — products of a flawed, monstrous system. Strangely, it was Hindi cinema that gave me the perspective to report what I saw before me.

Like every one of us, I know outstanding doctors too.

The Kolkata-based independent journalist writes on public health, politics and film.

The Hindu

Kolkata: Three ‘Maoists’ Acquitted After Spending 14 Years in Jail

One of three people who were convicted of sedition died while the appeal was pending before the high court.

Kolkata: Three 'Maoists' Acquitted After Spending 14 Years in Jail

Calcutta high court. Credit: Wikipedia

Kolkata: The Calcutta high court on Friday acquitted three alleged Maoists, 14 years after they were sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court on sedition charges.

One of the three persons died during pendency of their appeal, which was filed in 2006.

A division bench comprising Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Suvra Ghosh declared the three persons not guilty of sedition and other charges on which they were convicted.

Sushil Roy, Patitpaban Haldar and Santosh Debnath were arrested from Jhargram in the then Maoist-affected Jangalmahal area of West Bengal in 2005 on the charge that they were inciting people to hold armed struggle to overthrow the elected government in the state, their lawyer Amartya Ghosh said.

Though Maoist literature and some other materials were recovered from them, no arms were seized, he said.

The petitioners’ lawyer submitted before the division bench that they were falsely implicated on sedition charges and the Arms Act by the police who claimed to have seized gelatin sticks and ammunition for .303 rifles from a rented apartment in Hooghly district.

The sessions court in Jhargram found them guilty of sedition charges and under Arms Act and sentenced them to life imprisonment in 2005.

The three persons filed an appeal before the high court in 2006.

Sushil Roy died in 2014, while the appeal win pending, Ghosh said.A

The division bench found glitches in the claims of the prosecution over seizure of arms and ammunition from the apartment which the accused persons had allegedly rented in Hooghly.

Submitting that the police had made false claims about seizure of arms or ammunition from them, the petitioners’ lawyer told the bench that there was no signature of the accused persons in the tenancy agreement for the said accommodation.

Additional public prosecutor N. Ahmed opposed the appeal of the three claiming that they were “hardcore Maoists” involved in seditious activities.

Hearing both the parties, the division bench acquitted the three persons.


Elgaar Parishad case: Process of giving copies of seized data to defence lawyer begins

The first application was filed by the defence lawyer in December 2018. Then, in March, defence lawyers again filed an application seeking the cloned copies of the digital information, under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

By Express News Service |Pune |Published: J

Following the orders of the special court, Pune City Police on Friday started the procedure to hand over the mirror images of the cloned copies of the electronic data they claimed to have seized from digital material recovered from the accused for their alleged links with the banned CPI-Maoist in the Elgaar Parishad case. A hard disk of 500 GB data was copied and handed over to the defence lawyer.

The special court, which is hearing the Elgaar Parishad case, had allowed the application filed by defence lawyers seeking cloned copies of the electronic data seized from the accused. Defence lawyers had argued that police were making allegations on the basis of seized electronic data and so it was essential for them to study it for putting up a defence.

The first application was filed by the defence lawyer in December 2018.

Then, in March, defence lawyers again filed an application seeking the cloned copies of the digital information, under Section 207 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Opposing the applications, the prosecution had argued that the accused might “misuse” the highly sensitive digital data.

District government pleader (DGP) Ujjwala Pawar had submitted that, “Underground absconding accused persons in this case are yet to be arrested… accused Anand Teltumbde (seeking anticipatory bail) and Gautam Navlakha (seeking quashing of the FIR) approached the Bombay High Court… said proceedings are pending before the High Court and investigation is in progress. In view of these circumstances, there is every possibility that the accused may misuse the said highly sensitive data contained in the said electronic devices (which include incriminated filed, encrypted filed, deleted data, mail communication etc.).”

Prosecution had also said there was a possibility of the absconding accused, after receipt of copies, “transferring the said data to the banned CPI-Maoist with the intention to endanger the security, integrity, unity, sovereignty of India… absconding accused may use the said data to commit terrorist activities… therefore, it will not be desirable to provide the copies of the hard disk as well as forensic images of the said electronic devices to the accused persons at this stage.”

Prosecution then stated that, “Incrimination data contained in the electronic devices seized from the possession of the accused is voluminous, there the court, if satisfied, may allow the accused to inspect it either personally or through pleas in the court instead of furnishing copies… the accused persons have received final report of the FSL (forensic science laboratory) in respect of the said data as part of the chargesheet… so their application deserves to be dismissed.”

“The court had ordered that copies of the seized data be given to the defence lawyers. Accordingly, the procedure was started today. However, in two-and-a-half hours, only one copy of one hard disk (HD) with 500 GB memory was prepared today. Now, next date is June 27,” said the defence lawyer Siddharth Patil.

The hard disk was copied in the presence of forensic experts, defence lawyers, prosecution lawyer, investigating officer of the case and the court staff. Police said the entire process of copying the digital material will be videographed.

A police officer said there were several hard disks and only one could be copied, the work of copying the entire data was voluminous and it will take time.

Police have so far booked 23 persons, including top underground former Maoist commander Mupalla Lakshmana Rao alias Ganapathy, researcher Anand Teltumbde and activist Gautam Navlakha under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. All are alleged to be active members of the banned CPI-Maoist.

In April last year, police teams conducted multicity raids at the houses of suspects booked in the Elgaar Parishad case. Five suspects, including Rona Wilson from Delhi, former Prime Minister Rural Development (PMRD) fellow Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai, professor Shoma Sen from Nagpur University and Gadling were arrested on June 6. Police claimed to have recovered 25,000 GB (25 TB) electronic data, literature and other items during the raids.

Activist and poet P Varavara Rao, lawyer Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and activist Sudha Bharadwaj were arrested later and more electronic data seized from them.

Recently, police have seized more data during raids at the residence of accused Stan Swamy from Jharkhand

In last 5 years, Gujarat got over half the Central irrigation funds

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

Gujarat has cornered the lion’s share of central funds allocated for irrigation schemes in the last five years, according to a formal reply in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

The State got central assistance worth ₹2,074 crore, or nearly 56 per cent of the total ₹3,772 crore spent for Command Area Development and Water Management (CADWM) between 2014-15 and 2018-19, said Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in reply to questions from Congress MPs Amee Yajnik and Husain Dalwai. Besides, Gujarat received another ₹1,200 crore, which is nearly 12 per cent of the funds allotted for another scheme Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) during the same period. The Centre sanctioned a total of ₹10,249 crore for the PMKSY scheme between 2014-15 and 2018-19. States which received more funds than Gujarat under the PMKSY scheme were Andhra Pradesh (₹1,674 crore), Karnataka (₹1,323 crore) and Maharashtra (₹1,313 crore).

According to the Minister, a total of 103 districts in six States were declared drought-hit in 2018-19 and allocated ₹8,171 crore cumulatively for drought relief, against the States’ total demand of ₹22,771 crore. However, the drought was less widespread than in 2015-16, which had adversely impacted 259 districts.

In Maharashtra, where 26 districts were affected by severe drought, got ₹4,714 crore central relief, while Rajasthan (nine drought-hit districts) got ₹1,207 crore. Karnataka where as many as 30 districts were parched during both kharif and rabi seasons received ₹949.49 crore, though the State had sought a relief of ₹2,434 crore, the reply said.