Ranchi: Mariam Khatoon, the widow of Alimuddin Ansari, the man who was lynched in Ramgarh for allegedly carrying beef, is devastated and outraged. “Why is Jayant Sinha felicitating my husband’s killers?” she questions and then rhetorically answers, “I can understand. He is doing it for votes. But his action is not just disgusting but repulsive too.” After a pause, she adds, “And if he is doing so, then he should welcome every criminal when they get released from jails across India.” This precisely, what Mariam had to say in her first media reaction, which she gave to eNewsroom, regarding Union Minister and Hazaribagh MP Jayant Sinha garlanding the killers of Alimuddin, after being granted bail by the Jharkhand High Court.
On June 29, 2017, a mob had lynched Alimuddin Ansari at Ramgarh market just on the suspicion of carrying meat in his van.
Ironically, the incident had taken place on the very same day, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared that killing people in the name of cow worship would not be acceptable.
The Ramgarh fast-track court, in the case, set an example and sentenced the 11 accused— Deepak Mishra, Chhotu Verma, Nityanand Mahto, Santosh Singh, Uttam Ram, Sikandar Ram, Vikram Prasad, Raju Kumar, Rohit Thakur, Kapil Thakur and Vicky Sao for life, on March 21, this year.
The verdict was termed first of its kind in India as far as cow vigilantism was concerned.
Significantly, when the court had convicted the 11 accused of the crime, Mariam had said that she does not want the death penalty for them.
While Alimuddin’s widow had shown a big heart and did not demand a capital punishment for her husband’s killers, soon after the verdict, Sinha had demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter. And after high court granted bail to nine accused, eight killers together and to one more later, the minister felicitated them by garlanding and offering sweets to the killers. An action for which, he is being vehemently criticized.
His father, Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha even distanced himself from Jayant’s act. Yashwant Sinha said about Jayant, that he is now a Nalayak Beta (incompetent/ unworthy son).
Mariam, who is aware that Jayant is a well-educated person, so she pointed out that in her reaction, “What message he wants to give to the educated class he belongs to. What will they think about his disgusting act?” she said while talking to eNewsroom over the phone from Kolkata. During the discussion she mentioned, the word “disgusting” thrice.
And when it came to commenting on the nine killers getting bail from Jharkhand High Court, she didn’t wish to say anything.
“I don’t want to comment on that. But, I will not spare them, I will go to the Supreme Court. My family has broken down and, my life is in a mess after my husband was lynched. The government has also not fulfilled its promise to compensate me,” she added.
Ironically, in the trial court order, the court had directed state and District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) to award adequate compensation to the victim’s family within two months of the order. Earlier, after the lynching, Ramgarh Deputy Commissioner had assured Mariam that her son would be getting a job and she would get a ration shop in her name, but these promise, remain far from being fulfilled.
Mariam who was returning from Kolkata, and after consulting her lawyer will soon be moving to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the civil society and concerned citizens have strongly condemned the Hazaribagh MP for felicitating the Ramgarh killers. In a joint statement, they said, “The act of the minister and the BJP is highly condemnable. It indicates a blatant approval of the lynching of a Muslim man in the name of ‘cow protection’, by the government and BJP. It adds on to the growing evidence of their communal attitude towards religious minorities, primarily Muslims and Christians. It also exposes the hollowness of the BJP government’s slogan of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’.”
Opposition leaders have also condemned the act of Sinha. CPI-ML’s National General Secretary, Dipankar Bhattacharya has even demanded the resignation of Jayant Sinha and had tweeted that Sinha must quit.