Sitamarhi: Bloodthirsty people filled with hatred and fury sees no age or even humanity before they subject innocent lives to brutal treatment.
Little did this 82-year-old Muslim in Bihar’s Sitamarhi region knew he would fall prey to such a brutal horrendous crime on his way back home after visiting his sister.
This innocent man identified as Zainul Ansari was punished for simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time and so far no action was taken or an FIR has been filed yet even after his burnt body with arms and legs charred was found just hours later on October 20.
Ansari’s family said he was caught by a frenzied mob and was subjected to the brutal killing, Indian Express reports.
According to reports, some stone pelters damaged a Durga idol which was being taken for immersion and Ansari happened to be returning to his home 7 km away after visiting his sister but did not pay attention to warnings from locals who said there was a mob out there.
“No one will harm an old man,” Ansari told the people warning him.
But when his burnt body was found the officers in the region quickly took action to prevent further violence in Sitamarhi, which is 170 km away from Patna.
Internet was shut down in the region and Ansari’s body was sent to SKM College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur.
And then days after video clips and pictures of a body set aflame on a road went viral on social media- the questions remained unanswered.
The post-mortem report stated “shock due to antemortem burn injury,” but the Police has not yet made any arrests.
Sitamarhi Superintendent of Police Vikas Barman said: “Zainul Ansari could have been attacked when he was returning. a sudden sporadic momentary emotional outburst. He was beaten up and died. We will look into how his body was charred. Though we have not lodged a separate case in Zainul’s death, we have filed a case of serious rioting in which murder section is also added for recovery of a body against unknown accused.”
The Sitamarhi police said they have filed over six FIRs for Dussehra violence and also arrested 38 people but none specifically for Ansari murder.
“We have not yet identified anyone, nor have we found involvement of any kind of group,” said the officer.
Ansari’s youngest son Mohammed Ashraf who reached Sitamarhi after reports and the clips reached him said: “Though most parts of the body being shown in the footage looked charred, I could still identify my father through his half-burnt face.”
“I accompanied my elder brother to SP and DM (district magistrate) to show video footages and confirmed that it was their father’s body. The police denied credentials of the footages. By that time, we had lodged a missing complaint report at Riga police station under which my village comes,” said Ashraf who is also a tailor like his elder brother Mohammed Akhlaq Ansari, both earning a living as tailors in Surat.
Elder Akhlaq said there was no way to confirm the death of his father as the Internet was suspended.
Elder brother Akhlaq when asked said: “My aunt Shaleema Khatoon, whom my father had visited at Rajopatti, also confirmed that my father had left home at around 12 noon on October 20, which coincided with the timing of violence. We met the town police station officers but got no confirmation. It was only on October 23 we learnt that the post-mortem was being conducted at Sadar Hospital of Sitamarhi. But we soon learnt that the body was sent to SKM College and Hospital, Muzaffarpur, some 70 km away from this town.”
“The district administration arranged two buses for us to reach Muzaffarpur but with clear instruction to conduct the burial at Muzaffarpur. They feared a communal backlash, and we agreed to their order,” said the younger son.
He added: “The police are now telling us they have been studying video footages to identify the accused. They had been dismissive of similar footages earlier. But we want them to arrested immediately. We have not named anyone but they have to be punished.”
The two sons said the post mortem report mentioned the aged of “unidentified body as 35”. “I have asked for a correction. They have promised to correct it.”
The post-mortem report from Sadar Hospital confirmed burn injuries: “…internal injuries and charred burn were found. Antemortem charred burn and deep burn were present all over the body. Lower jaw was completely charred and part of bone that is skull were absent. Both lower limbs were completely charred and bone below knee joint were exposed. Both arms were completely burnt…. The deceased died due to shock of antemortem burn injury. The injuries were caused due to flame of fire”.
SP Barman said: “Since we found an unidentified body, the age and identity of the victim are not mentioned in the post-mortem report. But we will request the doctors who conducted the post-mortem to give their opinion on the age of the body. We have also sent the victim’s body sample for DNA report. Once the report comes, the identity of the victim would be mentioned.”
Zainul Ansari’s body was found at Goushala Chowk. Recalling the incident, the shopkeepers said: “Maharani Sthan (goddess Durga temple) at Muralia Chowk is like a border between the two communities. As the Durga procession faced a sudden attack of brickbats, several were injured. Even policemen looked for cover. We closed down shops and learnt only in the evening of 20th that a charred body was found”.