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BJP leader, two others arrested for lynching Muslim trader for allegedly carrying beef

A BJP leader was among three people arrested in connection with the lynching of a man in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district by a mob which accused him of carrying beef in his car.

Nityanand Mahto, the media in-charge of the BJP’s Ramgarh unit, was arrested along with two others from the house of local party unit chief Pappu Banerjee.

On Thursday, Alimuddin, also known as Asgar Ansari, was driving his Maruti van when he was stopped and brutally attacked by a group of people near Bazaar Tand area in Ramgarh; his car was set on fire. A senior officer, RK Malik, said the police “swung into action” as soon as they heard about the attack and rescued Mr. Ansari, but he died in hospital.

In his defence, Mahto has claimed that he was not involved in the lynching but was there to merely find out what had happened. However, the police have contradicted his version and claimed that Mahto was not only present at the place of incident, but had also instigated the mob. He has demanded that an impartial investigation be carried out in the incident.

The police have claimed that a video of the incident has surfaced and it shows the BJP leader was present at the spot and also dragged Ali out of the van and that he continued to watch as the mob attacked Ali.

The mob also set the vehicle on fire.

The incident took place at Bazaartand locality of Ramgarh town.

The district administration had deployed additional security forces and imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC in view of the tension on Friday last.

Though the situation in Ramgarh limped back to normal, security forces are still present all 33 sensitive joints of the district.

The incident in Ramgarh took place just a couple of days after a mob attacked and injured a man in Giridih district on suspicion that he had slaughtered a cow.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah earlier on Saturday disapproved that the cases of lynching in the country rose in the three years of the Narendra Modi Government, stating that the atrocities took place comparatively higher in the previous Congress regime.

“In 2011, 2012 and 2013, lynching cases were much more than three years of our government, but no one raised questions then. Even when Akhlaq was lynched, the Samajwadi Party (SP) was in the government. The law and order comes under the state subject, hence the responsibility fell on the SP, but they instead took out dharnas against Prime Minister Modi,” Shah said at a rally in Goa.

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