Jean Dreze, tribal activists demand arrest of Gumla lynching case accused

Economist Jean Dreze, along with members of a tribal organisation, has demanded immediate arrest of all accused involved in the Gumla lynching case.

Social activists said that a series of agitations and protests would be launched in the state if justice is not provided to the victims.

On April 10, Prakash Lakra (50), Peter Kerketta (50), Belarius Tirkey (60) and Janerius Minj (35) of Jurmu village were lynched by a group of over 30 people from another community of neighbouring Jairagi village for cutting the flesh off a dead ox. Lakra succumbed to his injuries while the other three were severely injured.

The police had registered two FIRs in the matter. The first was under the state’s Bovine Animal Prohibition of Slaughter Act, 2005, against the deceased and three injured, besides unnamed others.

The second FIR was registered on the basis of the statements of the victims against seven named accused and several others under half-a-dozen provisions of the IPC.

However, social organisations in the state under the umbrella of Jharkhand Janadhikhar Mahasabha, had accused the police of registering an incorrect FIR.

The Mahasabha then petitioned the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), following which it issued a notice on May 8 to the police seeking information about action taken in the case.

On Friday, members of Kendriya Jansangharsh Samiti, a part of the Mahasabha, conducted a protest meeting at Dumri in the Gumla district attended by Jean Dreze and other activists.

The samiti submitted a memorandum at the local block office to the governor, Droupadi Murmu demanding quashing of charges under the bovine act, besides action against the accused under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. It also sought action against the local police along with compensation to the victims

Speaking at the meeting, Jean Dreze said it was a clear case of murder conspired together by the accused. But, the police and state authorities were trying to save the accused.

Dreze said that incidents of mob lynching had spiraled across the country because of the involvement of the government and a particular political party.

Instead of communal harmony, hate was on the rise. Though he had met the Gumla Superintendent of Police, requisite action was not taken in the case, Dreze said.

Gumla SP, Anjani Kumar Jha said that a special investigating team was looking into the case. A thorough inquiry was being conducted. While two people, Sanjay Sahu and Jeevan Sahu were arrested after the incident, two others had surrendered.

First Published:
Jun 02, 2019 13:14 IST

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