One of the 13 people accused of lynching a man in Jharkhand yesterday has been arrested as Chief Minister Raghubar Das today directed the police to nab the culprits of two such recent killings so that they could be punished through fast-track courts. In Ramgarh where the incident took place yesterday, authorities today imposed prohibitory orders barring assembly of more than four persons at a place amid tension in the district, officials said. One person has been arrested and the police is conducting raids to nab the other accused named in the FIR, said Inspector General of Police M L Meena who visited Ramgarh and held meetings with senior police and administrative officials. The state government announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for the dependents of the deceased. In New Delhi, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu denounced the lynching incidents and other kinds of violence as “condemnable and barbaric” and appealed against giving a political or communal angle to such cases.
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke strongly against the killings in the name of the cow, Naidu said no civilised society can accept such incidents and that it was for the law enforcement agencies of the respective states to take the strongest possible action.
The Jharkhand chief minister, while reviewing the law and order situation in the state, told the police that the guilty should not go scot-free, whoever he might be, and a repeat of such incidents should be prevented. A mob surrounded a van bearing a West Bengal number plate in the Bazaar Tand area of Ramgarh police station yesterday, dragged out the driver Mohd Allimuddin, a resident of neighbouring Hazaribagh district, and thrashed him, injuring him seriously. The police rushed to the spot and took Allimuddin to a hospital, where he was declared “brought dead” by doctors, a police officer said. Earlier on June 27, a mob had attacked a person on suspicion that he slaughtered a cow after allegedly finding the carcass of the animal near his house in Giridih district of the state.
The chief minister directed the police to take strict action against those involved in these two incidents which have triggered an outrage across the country. Das told the police to arrest the culprits at the earliest so that they could be punished through fast-track courts, a government statement said. He said no one has the right to take law into his own hands and the administration of law is above all. “It is time for stern action,” he said. Das said if incidents of cattle smuggling come to light, the officer-in-charge of the area concerned, DSP and other senior officials would face action. Director General of Jharkhand Police D K Pandey said one of the 13 accused in the Ramgarh incident has been arrested while 13 accused have been arrested in connection with the Giridih incident.
Along with CID, four special teams have been set up to nab the culprits, he added. The situation is tense but under control and additional security forces have been deployed in identified points of the district, Inspector General of Police M L Meena said. Kishore Kaushal, Superintendent of Police, Ramgarh, said the report from forensic laboratory has not been received so far. Naidu said, “Lynching or killing any human being is condemnable, barbaric and civilised society cannot accept it.” The union minister said the prime minister had made the stand of the government very clear through his remarks that no one should take the law into their hands in the name of cow protection.
Addressing a gathering at the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat yesterday, Modi had said that “killing people in the name of ‘gau bhakti’ (cow worship) is not acceptable and this is not something Mahatma Gandhi would approve”. Naidu told PTI, “Some people are trying to overplay, some are trying to politicise it and some are trying to communalise it. I appeal (to them) not to politicise or communalise such incidents. Let us not give it a religious colour. Let us not divide the society.”
He also emphasised that it was the duty of the respective state governments to “take appropriate, prompt and strong action against the people who are responsible”. Naidu appealed to the people not to take law into their own hands, but report any violation to the law enforcement agencies. “If any violation of law is seen, people must report to the law enforcement authorities and impress them to take action. And, if they do not take action, then people must protest asking for action,” Naidu said.