Brinda Karat cries foul over closure of Latehar mob lynching case by NHRC

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Two cattle traders, Mazloom Ansari (32) and Imtiaz Khan (12), were abducted in Latehar and killed in March, 2016,

By Abdul Bari Masoud

New Delhi:  CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat has strongly protested against the National Human Rights Commission for the closure of her complaint regarding the mob lynching of 12 year old boy Imtiaz Khan and his uncle Mazloom  Ansari in the Latehar district of Jharkhand. She alleged that the NHRC is failing in its duty to protect the human rights of the families of the victims in this case.

She had made compliant in 2016 to the NCHR related to Latehar mob lynching incident but the NCHR sent a letter on October 27, 2018 to her stating that the Case No. 494/34/22/2016 has been closed.

After receiving the letter, she shot back a letter to the NCHR chairman expressing her extreme disappointment over the closure of the case.

In her complaint, Karat had said the Rs. 1 lakh compensation offered to the families was an affront to justice and the NCHR should ensure fair compensation to the families.

However, on the pretext that the family did not respond within four weeks, the NCHR said it has closed the case.  On this, she shot back saying the Commission itself has taken two years to enquire into the case.

In her letter to the Chairman, CPI(M) leader urged the Commission  to ensure that the victims’ families are given adequate compensation and justice.

It is to recall that 35-year-old cattle trader Ansari  and  his partner  Azad Khan and his son Imtiaz Khan were on their way to a cattle fair, to sell off their last batch of oxen and start a new business when a mob brutally  lynched Ansari and  Imtiaz   and their dead bodies  were hung  to a tree in the nearby forest.

The families of the victims have claimed that the mob lynching was a pre-planned case and not a spontaneous incident, which led to the victims’ death.

The incident, often referred as the Jharkhand mob lynching 2016, happened exactly five months after India’s first mob lynching case in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri, where Akhlaque Ahmed was lynched by a mob for allegedly having beef in his house.

More than two years have been passed since the incident happened but the families of the victims still did not get justice.

Text of Brinda Karat’s letter to the Chairperson of NHRC

“This is with reference to the letter dated 27.10.2018, Case No. 494/34/22/2016 received by me from the National Human Rights Commission, Law Division.

It is extremely disappointing to learn that the Commission has closed the said case concerning the compensation for the next kin of M. Ansari and Imtiaz Khan, who were victims of brutal lynching case in Latehar, Jharkhand.  The Rs. 1 lakh compensation offered to the families is an affront to justice and, therefore, it was not taken by the family.  Surely, the job of the National Human Rights Commission is to ensure fair compensation for families who have been torn apart by brutal lynchings as in these two cases.  It is shocking that the NHRC has not insisted that the meagre amount of Rs. 1 lakh offered by the Jharkhand Government should be increased.

Secondly, the case has been closed saying that the family did not respond within four weeks of your sending the report.  Considering that the Commission itself has taken two years to enquire into the case, it is unfair that simply because the family has not answered within four weeks you closed the case.  There may be valid reasons such as migration for work etc., which made it difficult to respond within the stipulated time.  It certainly does not mean that the Commission can take for granted that the family has accepted this report.

I request you to reconsider the matter to ensure that the victims’ families are given adequate compensation and justice.”

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