Jharkhand: Villagers blame Bajrang Dal workers for Khunti lynching

Source: indiatoday.in

Atribal man was beaten to death by angry villagers in Jharkhand over suspicion of selling beef. Two other men injured in the mob attack are now stable.

Speaking to India Today TV, locals from Suari village under Karra PS of Khunti district expressed shock and grief over the death of Kalantus Barla. Villagers claimed that workers from Bajrang Dal were behind the attack.

Police, however, have arrested some people from adjacent Jaltanda village on the basis of suspicion.

It all started when word spread that the three tribal men–Kalantus Barla, Philip Horo and Phagu Kachchap–were selling beef. As soon as the news spread, several workers of Bajrang Dal came to the spot and beat the three men, villagers added.

They were brutally thrashed with sticks following which Barla succumbed to his injuries and the two others are receiving treatment at separate hospitals.

Women from Suari village who spoke to India Today TV said they are upset with yesterday’s incident and vowed not to allow anyone from outside to enter the village.

The women added that they were performing a traditional ‘badgadi puja’ that involves the slaughtering of an animal and distribution of meat. It is performed every year in the village, the women added.

Expressing sorrow over Barla’s death, they indicated that he was not at fault and had only come to his sister’s place to participate in the puja. Barla was specially-abled and could not even run away, they added.

Philip Horo, who lost his wife around eight days ago, has no one to look after his old mother back home. Meanwhile, women from Hindu-dominated Jaltanda village are equally scared after the incident.

Speaking to India Today TV, they accused Bajrang Dal workers of being responsible for the mob attack, but are in fear after some of their relatives were picked up by police in connection with the lynching.

An uneasy calm prevails in the area as this is the first time when the two villages have been involved in such an incident over the past 100 years.

While police have arrested a few people on the basis of suspicion, investigations are underway to track all the perpetrators. Police officers investigating the case said nobody is allowed to take law in their hands and strict action will be taken against the perpetrators.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat visited RIMIS to meet one of the injured victims and termed Jharkhand as “lynchistan”.

Earlier in June, a 24-year-old man in Jharkhand’s Saraikela-Kharasawan, Tabrez Ansari, suffered a similar fate when he was beaten with rods after being tied to a pole for hours on suspicion of theft.