Jharkhand police has dropped murder charge against 11 accused in the mob lynching case of Tabrez Ansari, a young Muslim man, who was seen on national television being beaten up with rods while tied to a pole and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ over alleged theft.
The Seraikela-Kharsawan district police charge-sheeted 11 of the 13 named accused in the case on July 29, dropping the stringent charge of murder under section 302 of the IPC. They will now face the law for lesser offence under section 304 of IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
Seraikela-Kharsawan Superintendent of Police Karthik S said the murder charge was dropped against 11 accused on the basis of postmortem, medical and forensic reports which said 24-year-old Ansari died of cardiac arrest.
“The postmortem and medical report did not support the charge of murder. They said he died of cardiac arrest.
“We had doubts and we went for a second opinion from higher level experts from the forensic and pathological side and they also gave the same set of opinion. So, we had to charge them under section 304 instead of 302,” the officer said.
In the event of conviction, section 302 provides for life imprisonment and even death penalty. Under section 304, a convict can be sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years which may extend to life imprisonment.
Ansari worked as a labourer and welder in Pune and had come home to celebrate Eid when he was captured by locals at Dhatkidih village on the night of June 17 over suspicion of trying to steal a motorcycle.