PATNA: The Jharkhand government on Monday placed under suspension the officers-in-charge of two police stations and said 20 people have been arrested so far for the three lynching incidents in which nine people were beaten to death on suspicion of being child-lifters.
Following the barbaric killings that shocked public conscience, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday issued a strongly worded notice to Jharkhand DGP D K Pandey and sought a report within four weeks.
“A civilised society cannot allow such heinous crimes to occur where human lives are taken by angry mobs merely on suspicion of them being anti-social elements… Law-enforcing agencies of the State have certainly failed to perform their lawful duty,” said the NHRC notice.
Tuleswar Khushwaha, the station house officer of Rajnagar police station in Seraikela-Kharswan district, and Amish Hussain, the station house officer of Bagbera police station in East Singbhum district, were placed under suspension for failure to prevent the killings by the mobs, who comprised mostly tribal people.
Sources said three lynching victims were pulled out of a police vehicle and lynched in the presence of policemen.
“Brothers Vikas Verma and Gautam Verma and their friend Gangesh Gupta were killed in front of policemen in Bagbera on May 18, a probe revealed,” said a police officer.
Jharkhand home secretary SKG Rahate said public life in Jamshedpur, the headquarters town of East Singbhum that witnessed violent protests over the last three days, is back to normal and that IGP Asish Batra is camping there.
“The Kolhan DIG and commissioner have been asked to probe the lynching incidents and submit a report in a month,” Jharkhand home secretary SKG Rahate told media representatives in Ranchi, adding that the incidents were “a spontaneous reaction of the villagers based on unfounded WhatsApp messages about child lifting”.
DGP Pandey said 37 people have been named as accused in the Rajnagar incident and 17
in the Bagbera incident.
“Not a single incident of child lifting has been reported in the State so far. We are identifying people who spread messages on WhatApp and other social networking sites about child lifters,” said Pandey, who was with the home secretary.