Karwan-e-Mohabbat, a body of lawyers, writers, journalists and human rights activists has expressed concern over the economic distress of the families which have suffered hate violence and lynching in State. The members have stated that Jharkhand has set some very good examples of fair action and compassion on the issue but the overall situation has disappointed them.
The opinion was aired by the Karwan team members after they visited affected families in the state from September 09 to 12. The visit was part of the tour by the members to 21 states to survey that situation of mob hate victims.
Former IAS officer and former Special Commissioner of the Supreme Court Harsh Mander said on Monday, “We were deeply dismayed to observe the sheer virulence of hate violence to which the victims were subjected.
He informed that the team met Usman Ansari in Barwabad village, Giridih District, who was accused of cow slaughter and attacked by neighbours of his own village.
“His life was saved because of the prompt and fair action by the then DC Uma Shankar Singh and the police force which accompanied him,” said Mander while pointing out that it was heartening effort by the administration.
He, however, added that Ansari’s family currently lives in their village with continued fear, amidst threats from neighbours who had set his home on fire fourteen months earlier. His wife Amna Khatoon, son Salim and daughter-in-law miraculously survived the arson attack.
The team members said they were astounded to find that family of Ramesh Minj of Tengari village, Garhwa district, has received no assistance yet. Ramesh was lynched on rumours of cow slaughter. He was taken into custody by police but latter succumbed to his injuries.
The Karwan members also visited the family of Majloom Ansari, who was lynched and then hung from a tree by self-styled cow vigilantes in Latehar district. His widow too has received no assistance so far. The family lives in conditions of grave destitution, with no able-bodied male member left to take care of them.
The team also met the family of 12 year-old Imtiyaz Khan, who was cruelly lynched and hanged along with Majloom Ansari. They too live with a sense of fear amidst intimidation and struggle to make ends meet.
Similarly Alimuddin Ansari’s widow Mariam Khatoon, whom the Karwan met in Ramgarh district, is distraught and has received no compensation or assistance. Ansari was lynched on June 29th, 2017, on suspicion of transporting beef. Out of the 12 accused, 11 were sentenced to life in prison in September last year. The Jharkhand High Court has recently suspended the sentence for 8 of them, including that of accused BJP leader Nityanand Mahto.
“All the families we met are facing grave economic distress, as well as living with fear, and still awaiting justice,” Mander said.
“The administration has to ensure that adequate reparation and protection from fear and intimidation are provided to the families, and justice is assured,” adds Mander.
The Karwan members opined that a compassionate local and state administration could do a great deal more so that the families are enabled to pick up the broken pieces of their lives.
Meanwhile, the Karwan-e-Mohabbat members have also sent a letter to the chief secretary Sudhir Tripathi recommending a list of steps required to be taken for the affected families. In a letter sent to the CS Mander and another former IAS officer MA Ibrahimi said that state government must pay a sum of Rs 10 lakh to the family of Minhaz Ansari. They stated that the NHRC guidelines for custodial death must be complied with. They pointed out that Usman Ansari has been permanently disabled and should be paid a sum of five lakhs rupees. The former officials also recommended that aid of Rs 10 lakh be paid to the family of Alimuddin Ansari, Ramesh Minz and Mazloom Ansari and their wives be provided pension. They also recommended payment of Rs 10 to family members of Imtiaz Khan.