Ranchi: If the world was shocked when some political leaders associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with some Congress supporters extended their support to the Kathua rape accused by organizing a rally, then there is another shocker for all. But this time from Jharkhand, where leaders of BJP and JMM are organizing dharnas, bandh and even offering financial support to the families of the killers in lynching cases.
Last year, in the month of April, Samsuddin Ansari, was lynched to death in Narra village of Bokaro district on mere suspicion. The mob that lynched Ansari to death claiming that he was a child lifter. After lynching him, the mob had also set ablaze a PCR van.
Almost a year later, a Bokaro session court has sentenced the 21 accused. Most of them for life imprisonment and some for seven years.
“Ever since the court delivered its verdict, Member of Parliament (MP) from Giridih, Ravindra Pandey and Dumri’s MLA Jagarnath Mahto have visited the families of the accused and have extended their support. Pandey has assured the family of providing every possible support, while Mahto provided food grains to the family and has assured of continuing to do on a monthly basis till the court delivers justice in favour of them,” said Iftekhar Mahmood, member of Jharkhand State Bureau, Communist Party of India (CPI).
The Left party has prepared a two-paged leaflet with newspaper cuttings of the news reports about them visiting and extending support to the families of those accused of lynching Ansari to death.
The news report, has quoted Mahto even stating that they would be approaching the high court on behalf of the accused and will also be bearing cost for the legal procedure.
Mahmood, who is also the national general secretary of Tanjim-e-Insaaf pointed out, “BJP leaders supporting culprits, is no longer surprising, given the fact that they did the same when the Kathua case stirred the nation’s conscience. But the fact that JMM leader Jagarnath Mahto doing the same is a matter of great concern for us,” he told eNewsroom.
In the just conclude bypolls held at Gomia and Silli in Jharkhand, both the JMM candidates had got support from several parties including CPI and the party retained both the assembly seats.
On being asked if he had had a word with senior JMM leaders Mahmood said, “We understand that it is being done by Mahto in his personal capacity, and that party leaders are not hands in glove in this matter. We are yet to contact anyone and believe that the party should be aware of Dumri’s MLA’s shocking activities.”
However, extending support to those accused of lynching Ansari, is not the first in Jharkhand. Almost around the same time, when BJP leaders were rallying behind the accused of the minor girl child who had been brutally gang-raped and murdered in Kathua, dharnas and bandhs had been staged in Ramgarh, to show support for the killers of Alimuddin Ansari. Alimuddin was lynched to death on suspicion of ferrying beef in his van. In this case, the Ramgarh Court gave a landmark verdict by sentencing eleven accused, including a BJP leader, to life time imprisonment.
But soon after the verdict, Ramgarh’s former BJP MLA Shankar Choudhary organised a 15 day dharna and observed a day long bandh in Ramgarh demanding CBI inquiry into the case. Later, Hazaribagh’s MP Jayant Sinha, also wrote a letter to Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das requesting for a CBI inquiry. Sinha had also announced that legal aid would be provided to those convicted in this case.
Both Giridih MP and Dumri MLA could not be contacted for a comment on the issue.