New strings of information revealed in the killing of Muslim men in Jharkhand lynching

Rajnagar (Jharkhand): Recently when four cattle traders were lynched last week not so far from Jamshedpur, rumours of child kidnapping have been blamed and the victims were later assumed to be innocent, mistakenly present in the wrong place at the wrong time.

However according to recent information’s doing rounds about the lynching last week supposedly were due to suspicious circling the area about the selling of beef in the region.

According to the fresh information, the four persons lynched were not caught up in some rumors as assumed earlier due to then child rumors being active in the region but those incidents were a result of suspicion building up in those regions over selling of beef.

But the fresh new strings of information reveals a new story cooked up for days resulting in those lynchings.

The first as being told to the Telegraph today by a villager that Sheik Halim, one of the cattle traders killed on May 18 was suspected as the main target, was questioned about supplying beef last month at the wedding of his niece by a group of youths.

Followed by the second information about the search for the cattle traders who fled from their cars leading to the searching of these traders as thought earlier but was indeed a rage for losing them.

The crowd had dispersed after the villagers told them that any child-lifter hiding there would be handed over to police, said Sher Mohammed, a member of the Anjuman Muslim Committee and the BJP’s minority wing in Seraikela-Kharsawan district but the return of the group 30 minutes later with an ultimatum stirred suspicions about their motive says Mohammed.

The cattle traders were forced to take another alternative route 20km away due to the active cow vigilante group called the Sangh parivar. That particular day the traders were off to buy cattle but were attacked on the new route.

The authorities jumped to conclusions that the lynching leading to deaths was due to child lifting rumors ignoring this active cow vigilante group’s presence in during the incident.

In a response to a question, Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Rakesh Bansal replied today saying “They were all cattle traders who used to visit Rajnagar villages for their trade. But we are yet to get information about Right-wing involvement. For us, the mob lynched them on suspicion of being child-lifters.”

These cow vigilantes were influenced in Jharkand after Uttar Pradesh inspired them, resulting in the declaration of shutting down of ‘illegal’ slaughter houses in March.

The three others that were killed that day on due to lynching were Halim’s friends Sheikh Sajju, 25, Sheikh Siraj, 26, and Sheikh Naim, 35 from Shobapur village where the killings took place. The village falls in Rajnagar block in Seraikela- Kharswan district.

Halim, who frequently visited brother-in-law Md Murtaza Ansari’s house in Shobhapur with his friends, was suspected by some of stealing cows to slaughter them for beef under the cover of a legitimate cattle trade, a villager said today.

There were rumors regarding supplying of beef in Muslim dominated areas in Jamshedpur and Adityapur.

“Last month, Halim, who helped in the wedding arrangements of Ansari’s daughter, was asked by some youths from the nearby Dando village if he had supplied beef for the feast. Halim and his friends pleaded innocence. We came to know this after the lynchings. Had we known earlier, we would have asked Halim and the others to stay away,” the villager said.

Shobhapur is a Muslim-dominated village with 500 plus population and 75 households and is surrounded with other villages like Kamalpur, Gopinathpur, Dando, Padnamsahi and Khiri villages, where Santhals and communities from other Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes live.

Ansari said: “We have always stayed peacefully at Shobhapur. Yes, Halim used to come here. He was a cattle trader and people bought buffaloes and cows from him at the Haldipokhar haat. What happened all of a sudden I can’t make out.”

After being attacked in the car on May 18, Halim along with his friends took shelter in Ansari’s home.

The lynching of these traders killing them started around 9 am.

“Yes, youths had put up a vigil on the night of May 17 over child-lifting rumors when Halim’s car was spotted in Rajnagar. Over a thousand people chased Halim and his three friends in the car to Shobhapur village. We did not know Halim and his friends were hiding in Ansari’s house.

“The crowd threw stones at the police, set a police jeep on fire and torched Halim’s car. We told them, ‘look, we will search for child-lifters in every house here and hand them over to the police’. They agreed and retreated. But, about 30 minutes later, when they came back in greater numbers, they were adamant on killing the men or torching the entire village. It seems in that gap of 30 minutes they had been incited to kill,” Mohammed said, as reported in The Telegraph.