Jharkhand Police on Wednesday, 18 September, reinstated the charge of murder, Section 302 of the IPC, in lynch mob victim Tabrez Ansari’s case following The Quint’s exclusive report of it being dropped in the charge sheet, submitted on 29 July.

They moved court for this addition in a supplementary charge sheet filed on 18 September.

Reacting to the murder charge being reinstated, Ansari’s wife Shahista told The Quint: “I am very happy that this has happened. Some faith in the administration and investigative agencies has been restored. This is great news for us. They (the accused) deserve the strictest punishment.”

Speaking to news agency ANI, she said that she has faith in god and will only smile when the perpetrators are hanged.

On 17 June, Tabrez was tied to a pole, accused of theft, forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’, and thrashed mercilessly for at least seven hours. Five days later, on 22 June, he succumbed to his injuries while he was in police custody.

In this supplementary charge sheet, the police has said that initially they dropped the murder charge on the basis of the post-mortem report but added it after they found out that the viral video of the lynching was not tampered with. This video was then used as evidence to file murder charges against the accused. The police not only filed murder charges against the eleven initial accused but against two additional men taking the total accused in the case to thirteen.

The two additions are Vikram Mandal and Atul Mehli. The eleven accused earlier have been identified as Prakash Mandal alias Pappu Mandal, Kamal Mahato, Sunamo Pradhan, Premchand Mahali, Sumant Mahato, Madan Nayak, Chamu Nayak, Mahesh Mahali, Kushal Mahali, Satyanarayan Nayak and Bhim Sen Mandal.

Ansari’s wife had demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident saying she did not have faith in the investigation by the district police. Speaking to The Quint, their lawyer, Altaf Hussain said, “This is a strong move by the police and it is great news, however the demand for a CBI inquiry stays on.”

He further told ANI that it was the medical report due to which the case went in the wrong direction. Hussain added that the medical report clearly shows that there was a fracture on the skull, while the complaint says that he died of a heart attack.“A heart attack is default in cases like that. It is due to the negligence on the part of the doctors that the case went in the wrong direction. While the report says he died of a heart attack, the actual cause of death is head injury.”Altaf Hussain, Lawyer

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/murder-charge-reinstated-for-tabrez-ansari-lynching-accused