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They stole cattle, it’s not mob lynching: Nitish on murder of Muslim, 2 tribals in Bihar

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar plays down the killings, says it was 'an incident arising out of a local development'.

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Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Friday sought to play down the killing of a Muslim man and two tribal persons by a mob in Saran district, saying it should not be seen as a case of “mob lynching” as the three men “had been caught stealing cattle”.

“It is an unfortunate incident. But it should not be seen as mob lynching. Those killed were Nats (a Scheduled Tribe group) and those who killed them belong to downtrodden classes,” Nitish told ThePrint. “The incident occurred when the three were caught red-handed stealing cattle. It resulted in angry villagers beating them up leading to their deaths. It is basically an incident arising due to local development.”

The three men were lynched in Paigambarpur village of Saran district around 4.30 am Friday.

Police claimed that the villagers woke up to find two of their goats and a buffalo being loaded onto a pick-up truck. The villagers caught hold of three of the four people allegedly present and brutally thrashed using sticks and iron tools.

While two of them died on the spot, the third succumbed to his injuries while being taken to hospital. “The victims have been identified as Raju Nat, Bides Nat and Naushad Qureshi,” a police official said. “Qureshi was the owner of the pick-up truck that was brought to ferry the stolen cattle.”

A minister in the ruling JD(U)-BJP government, who did not wish to be named, also maintained that the incident could not be termed as mob lynching. “It did not include the mob forcing the Muslim victim to chant Jai Srí Ram,” the minister told ThePrint stressing that it was a simple case of “law and order”.

Not first time for Nat tribals, Muslims  

This isn’t the first time that Nat tribals, traditionally a nomadic community of dancers and jugglers, or Muslims have been at the receiving end of mob violence in Bihar.

In 2007, 10 Nat youths were lynched in Raja Pakar village in Vaishali district following rumours that they had come to steal. During the communal flare-up last year, Zainul Ansari, 82, was lynched and then burnt by a mob at Sitamarhi district.

The Nitish government had last year announced a Rs 3 lakh compensation for families of those killed in mob lynchings.

“Mob lynchings in Bihar are a result of the collapse of the state police machinery. One can be sure that the local villagers have complained to the police about cattle lifting but no action was taken,” said opposition leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui of the RJD. “The people have lost confidence in the police and are taking the law in their own hands.”

Also read: As lynchings increase, Modi govt dawdles on central law that SC wanted a year ago


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  1. Generally thieves if caught hold by the public they are thrashed by the local people and inform or taken the culprits to the nearest police station for further action. But the public are not supposed to kill the thieves.

    It is for the police to put them behind bar and punish under appropriate section as per the law of the land. Killing of these thieves by a mob is certainly deplorable.

  2. If an alleged robbery has taken place, a police complaint has to be lodged which every knows. If every body takes the law into their hands then only law of the jungle will prevail. The police are not taking any action at all. This is the result that will follow.

  3. Killing whether by lynching or mob fury or by any other means cannot be justified in a civilised society.

  4. The status of Chiefs vis -a-vis C-in-Cs is that of first among equals. An officer becomes chief by virtue of his seniority. In so far as the competence is concer they are equal having reached that level after a hard slog through their career. The premise is that if a C-in-C in notconsidered fit to become chief he shouldn’t have made it to the level of C-in-C in the first place. To supercede a C-in-C when his tern comes for elevation is to question the selection process of C-in-C

  5. Such crimes deserve condemnation. However, there is need for punishment for stealing livestock of poor villagers by thieves so that mob attacks do not take place. Law and order machinery needs to be put into very effective mode in States like Bihar, UP, MP etc

  6. Three human beings were murdered for stealing livestock , now the debate is whether it was lynching , communal or secular , strange are the times we live in !

  7. That Tabrej Ansari incident from Jharkhand was communal because he was forced to chant Jai Shree Ram and Jai Hanuman.. You should first watch the viral video then comment on the incident…
    Anyway, communal or not, mob lynchers should be punished.. They dont have the right to kill someone.

  8. How is this not lynching? It is extra-judicial killing (or “administering of justice ” – depending on which side you are on) by a mob which is exactly what lynching is. We should stop playing with words and wake up to the fact that the country is becoming increasingly lawless by the day.

  9. In 1994 this community stole 8 cows and 7 buffalo’s from our house in village Sondip ,Purnea.When we went to look for them we found the culprits.They had all the animals except 2 as they were sold for slaughter after alot of negotiations we could get back our animals only after paying them Rs 48,000.
    Good these people were killed.And they shud hv been.All such thieves shud face the same fate

  10. Nitish Kumar does not know the definition of lynching. Lynching ia to put to death, by mob action and without legal authority. It is not confined to killing due to religious belief. The growing killings by mobs in India reflects failure of governance and law and order in the country.

  11. Every killing is turned into a mob lynching by our press because it suits their political agenda. Killers should be punished. However, let’s not turn murders into communal incidents.

    • So you believe that the punishment for stealing is death. Good. What should be the punishment for prizing a few thousand ruppees over a human’s life?

      • Publish your address, so they thieves can come and steal. Since you don’t mind parting with few thousand rupees.

        • Can you state the link between your response and my statement? I don’t mind parting with a few thousand rupees to save a stranger’s life. This is a fundamental duty of every Indian. You have a problem with Indian Constitution? Looks so as you believe in killing people who steal from you, which is a crime as per the constitution. People who do not believe in constitution are anti-national.

  12. Well if it happens in secular Bihar it is different. Other places, it is lynching. There also that guy stolen vehicle and people caught and thrashed him. But that is communal as few guys shouted Jai Shree Ram. Media happy, Bihar CM happy. Lynching story is not new in UP and Bihar. Only story created around is new.

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