It has been more than a year since 55-year-old Alimuddin Ansari was lynched by a mob over suspicion of carrying beef in Ramgarh, Jharkhand. Eleven out of 12 accused were found guilty by a fast-track court in March this year. Alimuddin’s widow claims that she is unable to avail the compensation, which has been ordered by the court, as she hasn’t received a death certificate of her husband. She alleges that the police is not issuing the death certificate, as Alimuddin died in a moving police vehicle because of which the police is unable to ascertain the exact place of his death.
The incident happened on June 29, 2017, when some self-proclaimed ‘gau rakshaks’ lynched Alimuddin who was carrying meat in his van at a local market located in the heart of the town. The lynching was also captured on video.
According to the local reports, the 55-year-old was alive when the police arrived. The victim was then taken to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) hospital in Ranchi, where it was officially declared that Alimuddin had succumbed to his injuries while on the way to the hospital.
In March, the Lower Court declared 11 out of 12 suspects guilty and granted life sentence to the eight of them. The court also ordered the district services legal authority (DLSA) to initiate proceedings for ensuring compensation to the victim’s family. Since then the family is running from pillar to post to get a death certificate; that is necessary for initiating the compensation process.
“Since my husband got murdered, I have been going from one office to another to get his death certificate, each time they deny us the certificate saying that they are not sure of the place where he had died,” said Mariam Ansari, widow of Alimuddin while speaking to The Logical Indian.
“We first went to Mandu, our local police station to get the death certificate which, passed the buck to the Ramgarh police station, where the incident happened. When we went to the Ramgarh police station, we were asked to go to Ranchi RIMS hospital, as the hospital gave the postmortem report. After several visits to Ranchi hospital, we were told that the hospital could not provide us with the certificate as my husband did not die there instead he died on the way to the hospital,” laments Mariam.
Disheartened by the hospital’s response, the family again approached the Ramgarh police. “First we went to the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO), then we approached District Commissioner, Rajeshwari for help. She also took few weeks to get back to us, then I was told that the certificate will now be issued in a month’s time, but it has been more than three weeks, and I have not got any response from her,” she added.
22-year-old Shazad Akhtar Ansari, the eldest son of the victim, told us that the family even asked the officer to consider postmortem report of his father for initiating the compensation process. “The authorities are stuck that they want death certificate only, but the problem is how do we get it,” says Shahzad, who left his studies after his father’s death to help the family sustain.
According to the reports, the District Commissioner said that the police will now be taking a written statement from the ward councillor of the area, where Alamuddin’s remains have been buried after which a death certificate can be provided to the family.
“Nobody is listening to us, the officers assure solution and ask us to wait, but I only know what hardship I am going through because of all this,” says Mariam, widow and mother of five children.
45-year-old Mariam told us that she has not even received her widow pension of Rs 600 a month that was to be provided by the government. She says after his death many politicians came and assured her a ration shop and a government job for her eldest son which now looks like false promises to her.
Mariam is now working as a house help at other people’s house to make her ends meet. Meanwhile, Alimuddin’s family is also approaching the courts for intervention in case the DC’s solution doesn’t pan out.
When The Logical Indian tried to contact District commissioner Rajeshree, she denied commenting on the matter.
Suspension Of Death Sentence
According to Live Law, on June 28, 2018, the Jharkhand High Court suspended the life sentence awarded to 8 convicts including BJP leader Nityananda Mahto in the case.
“…it is only apparent that the appellants were the members of the mob, and in view of lack of evidence of specific assault against them, we are inclined to release the appellants on bail”, said the bench directing Mahto and 7 others to be released on bail.
While seven of the eight accused – Bajrang Dal member Santosh Singh, Rohit Thakur, Kapil Thakur, Uttam Ram, Raju Kumar Mahato, Vicky Sao and Sikander Ram – were released from the Jai Prakash Narain Central jail in Hazaribagh on July 4, the eighth accused, district BJP media cell in-charge Nityanand Mahato, was given bail a day earlier.
Sweets and garlands for the convicts
Just days after the convicts were released on bail, Union minister Jayant Sinha, welcomed the convicts with garlands and sweets. The convicts were taken to the minister’s residence in Hazaribagh, where the minister welcomed them.
The minister also tweeted, saying,
I have full faith in our judicial system and the rule of law. Unfortunately, irresponsible statements are being made about my actions when all that I am doing is honoring the due process of law. Those that are innocent will be spared and the guilty will be appropriately punished.
— Jayant Sinha (@jayantsinha) July 7, 2018
Later in the day, Sinha’s father and former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha tweeted:
Earlier I was the Nalayak Baap of a Layak Beta. Now the roles are reversed. That is twitter. I do not approve of my son's action. But I know even this will lead to further abuse. You can never win.
— Yashwant Sinha (@YashwantSinha) July 7, 2018
The Logical Indian Take
It is extremely disheartening to see that the family which is still reeling under the grief of losing a husband and father has to undergo additional trauma in receiving the compensation which they rightly deserve. We hope that the authorities take quick action in this direction.