30-year-old Akhtar Ansari ‘beaten to death’ over goat theft allegation in Ranchi

30-year-old Akhtar Ansari, a father of four, was accused of goat theft and beaten to death in Tatisilve, Ranchi. Akhtar’s nephew, Irshad, recounted receiving a distressing call on Sunday night. “When I got the call, I could only hear ‘Maaro, Maaro (beat him)’. There was so much noise. He was not a thief,” said Irshad.

When family members reached the scene, they found Akhtar’s unconscious body with severe injury marks on his legs and head. “But when we went to the police station, we were told that he was a thief, which is not true,” added Irshad.

Jharkhand is one of the few states in India that has passed an anti-mob lynching law. However, the bill was returned by the government with some objections, delaying its implementation.

Despite the existence of this law, the Jharkhand police have consistently denied instances of mob lynching over the past two years. They have either claimed that the victim was attacked by only two people or that the death was accidental. This was evident in the case of Irshad Ansari on August 22, 2023, in Ramgarh, and the recent case of an Imam in Hazaribagh.

This incident marks the second alleged mob lynching case in Jharkhand this year. Nationally, at least ten Muslims have reportedly been killed since June 4, coinciding with the counting of votes for the new government at the centre. Among these cases are three Muslims who were allegedly lynched in Bengal.