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Tabrez lynching case: Murder charge back on all accused

 RANCHI, Sep 18 (PTI): Eight days after the Jharkhand police dropped the murder charge against 11 accused in the mob lynching case of young Muslim man Tabrez Ansari, they brought back the same charge on the accused on Wednesday after obtaining a fresh medical report, an official said here.

Ansari was seen on national television being beaten up with rods while tied to a pole and forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' over alleged theft in June.

Based on a fresh medical report, the police on Wednesday filed a supplementary charge sheet before a court in Seraikela-Kharsawan district, retaining Section 302 of the IPC (murder) against the 11 accused, the official said.

The police also filed charge sheet against the remaining two accused charging them with murder after completing investigation against them.

The police had on September 10 dropped murder charges against all the 13 accused in the mob lynching case and converted it into one of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304 of the IPC) on the basis of postmortem, medical and forensic reports which said 24-year-old Ansari died of cardiac arrest.

While the quantum of punishment under Section 302 is death or imprisonment for life and fine, the penalty under Section 304 is imprisonment for life or imprisonment for 10 years or fine or both.

The official said, as the previous medical report stating that Ansari's death was caused due to cardiac arrest was not clear, the police took a second opinion of specialist doctors from the MGM Medical College and Hospital in Jamshedpur.

"On the basis of main findings, we opined that (1) The fracture of bone is grievous injury caused by hard & blunt object. (2). The combined effect of fracture of bone, pale organs and heart chambers full of blood resulting into cardiac arrest," the report by fresh board of doctors said.

The police also did not find any distortion in the viral video showing Ansari being beaten up by the accused, the official said.

The 13 accused were arrested in connection with the death of 24-year-old Ansari.

Ansari worked as a labourer and welder in Pune and had come home to celebrate Eid when he was captured by locals at Dhatkidih village on the night of June 17 over suspicion of trying to steal a motorcycle.

He was tied to a pole and assaulted by a mob with sticks and iron rods. A video of the scene that went viral and was flashed across tv networks showed he was forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Jai Hanuman' by his tormentors.

Though there was no evidence of the perpetrators' link to any Hindu right organisation, Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists had protested their arrest.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up to look into the case after Ansari was declared "brought dead" by doctors at the Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur on June 22.

Two policemen were suspended in connection with the incident.

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