PATNA: A BJP leader and an activist of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) were on Saturday arrested in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh for the lynching of Alimuddin alias Asgar Ansari, a trader, on Thursday.
Nityanand Mahto, a member of Ramgarh district unit of BJP, and Rajesh Thakur, a member of the local unit of ABVP, were picked up after investigators probing the lynching learnt of their involvement, said sources. Another man was arrested on Friday for the incident that was widely condemned.
While Mahto was among the 12 people named accused in the FIR filed by police, Thakur’s involvement surfaced in the course of the investigation. Both men denied their involvement.
Alimuddin alias Asgar Ansari, 42, was brutally beaten and his Maruti van was set afire at Bazartand on Thursday by a frenzied mob that alleged that he was carrying beef. Ansari, a resident of Manua-Fulsarai village in Ramgarh district, died from the injuries at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi in the afternoon. He is survived by his widow Mariam Khatoon and their six children, including three daughters.
A special investigation team (SIT) was formed on Friday to probe the incident even as police conducted raids to arrest the accused. Chhotu Verma, the Bajrang Dal unit chief of Ramgarh who was named as an accused, was still out of the reach of police. Police sources said members of the local Bajrang Dal and Gau Raksha Samiti (cow protection committee) were believed to have hatched the plan to murder Ansari to set an example for local Muslims engaged in cow slaughter.
Prohibitory orders imposed on the district remained in force on Saturday.