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Muslim trader lynching: BJP leader arrested, prime accused surrenders

Muslim trader lynching: BJP leader arrested, prime accused surrenders
Police detain local leaders after communal tension erupted at Manuwa village following the lynching of Alimuddin by a mob allegedly for carrying beef in his van on Thursday, Courtesy: HT

Ramgarh: A BJP leader Nityanand Mahto on Saturday has been arrested by Ramgarh police, in connection with the lynching of a Muslim trader Alimuddin two days back. The main accused Chottu Rana, who was seen beating Alimuddin with a stick repeatedly in a circulated video, surrendered before the court, Ramgarh superintendent of police, Kaushal Kishore said.

55-year-old Alimuddin alias Asgar Ali was lynched by a mob of about 100 people for allegedly carrying beef in his van. A video of the incident had gone viral following which police had arrested four persons, three of whom are among the 13 accused in the FIR, Kishore said.

As per a report of HT, Mahto, who is the BJP’s Ramgarh district media- in-charge, claimed innocence and said that he had visited the spot after the police arrived to take stock of the incident, and demanded a fair investigation into the matter. A member of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in Ramgarh district was also arrested.

On the arrest of saffron activists, state BJP’s media in-charge Shivpujan Pathak said the party will not defend anybody, but added that all the accused had the right to a fair trial. He also reiterated chief minister Raghubar Das’s assurance to not spare anyone involved in the case, whatever his/her socio-political stature was. “He (CM) has also instructed the police in this regard.”

On Friday, police had formed a special investigation team (SIT) under deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and constituted four teams to nab the accused. “We have sought arrest warrants against seven other accused named in the FIR,” said Ramgarh deputy development commissioner (DDC) Sunil Kumar.

Alimuddin’s lynching was the second brutal attack in June by cow vigilantes in Jharkhand as a mob thrashed the 55-year-old Muslim dairy owner and set his house ablaze after a cow carcass was found near his home in Giridih district on Tuesday.