ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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State 'Tolerance' of Mob Violence 

In the early hours of 18 March 2016, Mohammad Majloom Ansari (35) and Inayatullah Khan (12) were found hanging from a tree in the Balumath forest area in Latehar, Jharkhand. Residents of Balugoan and Nawada villages, Ansari and Khan were on their way to the weekly cattle fair with their eight buffaloes when they were stopped, thrashed, strangled and hanged by a lynch mob. Some arrests have been made.

The police have been reluctant to question the Latehar Gau Raksha Samiti even though one of the accused, Mithilesh Prasad Sahu, is a known member of the organisation. However, the version given to the media states that “cattle loot,” “cash” and “personal enmity” were probable motives for the lynching. A local leader of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha has questioned the official claim as he pointed out that the two victims were not rich traders and did not have much money on them. Besides, if cattle loot was the motive then the police need to explain why four of the eight buffaloes were found in the forest and only two were recovered from the accused. The Latehar superintendent of police, Anoop Birtharay, has conveniently stated that neither the family nor the complainant have blamed any organisation. Needless to say, the FIR does not specify any reason for the lynching.

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