Patna: A Muslim man succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Siwan on Wednesday morning after a mob brutally thrashed him a day before in Bihar’s Saran district on the suspicion that he was carrying beef, the police said.
Naseem Qureshi, 56, a resident of Hasanpur village in adjoining Siwan district, and his nephew Firoz Ahmed Qureshi were on their way to meet some acquaintances when the mob allegedly intercepted them at Jogia village, about 110 km northwest of Patna.
Local sarpanch Sushil Singh and two others — Ravi Sah and Ujwal Sharma — were arrested for lynching which comes close on the heels of another such case in Gaya district on 23 February.
An FIR under Sections 302 (murder), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention and 379 (theft) of the IPC, the police said. The family of Naseem has alleged that the police were trying to shield the accused.
“We are treating is as a case of mob lynching. Three persons named in the FIR, including the sarpanch, have been arrested. It is under investigation whether Naseem was carrying beef or not at the time of the incident,” Saran Superintendent of Police Gaurav Mangla told ThePrint.
Firoz claimed he and his uncle were stopped by the sarpanch and some men when they entered Jogra village. “They stopped our moped and the sarpanch alleged that we were carrying beef and ordered the men to thrash us. I escaped somehow by outrunning the men who chased me,” he told the media.
Naseem was not lucky, as he was caught and mercilessly thrashed. Firoz claimed that when he returned to the site, he saw a large number of villagers beating up his uncle, following which he alerted the Rasulpur local police station.
“I set out for the police station. After some time, I saw a police vehicle carrying my uncle. But when I reached the police station, he was not there. The people present there, including a person who claimed he was the mukhiya (panchayat head) of Rasulpur, said that my uncle was feeling unwell and he has been taken to Daraunda in Siwan,” Firoz said.
He further claimed that the mukhiya scolded him, saying that he saved his uncle despite carrying beef.
Firoz added that he later learnt that his uncle was taken to the Siwan government hospital where doctors referred him to the Patna Medical College for treatment. But Naseem died even before he could be taken to Patna, he said.
Naseem’s body was taken to the Chhapra government hospital for postmortem after which it was handed over to his relatives in Hasanpura village.
“The local police are trying to save the guilty. The police took my seriously injured brother on a motorcycle instead of an ambulance,” Naseem’s brother Ashraf Qureshi told ThePrint.
He said that he requested the Saran Superintendent of Police to conduct a fair probe into the incident. “Such incidents should not happen to anyone,” Ashraf, an ex-serviceman, asserted.
(Edited by Tony Rai)
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