The mob lynching of a Muslim man in India’s Jharkhand State shows religious hate is spreading to the peace-loving people in the tribal heartland, church leaders and tribal activists say. The death of 24-year-old Tabrej Ansari was the third incident in the state in two years and the latest in a series of such incidents at the hands of Hindu groups who want to make India a Hindu-only nation.
Ansari was tied to a tree and beaten by a mob on June 18 after being accused of attempting to steal a motorbike. He was handed over to police but fell sick and died in hospital on June 22, police told media.
However, rights activist Afzal Anis, coordinator of Aman Biradri, which works for communal harmony, claimed that Ansari died of his injuries in police custody. “It is very unfortunate that for the past one or two years we have been hearing of mob lynching in our state where for centuries people have been living with harmony and brotherhood,” said Father Anand David Xalxo, based in State capital Ranchi.
Father Xalxo, public relations officer of Ranchi Archdiocese, said the state has been witnessing such incidents “for some time now as religion-based hate spreads” and “predators have no respect for the law.”