Indian police arrest 11 for torturing Muslim man to death

Two Indian policemen were suspended over the way they handled the case. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 25 June 2019

Indian police arrest 11 for torturing Muslim man to death

  • The man was accused of burglary
  • His wife accused the police of taking him to jail before the hospital

NEW DELHI: Indian police arrested 11 people Tuesday over the killing of a Muslim man who was tortured and forced to chant Hindu slogans in the latest mob violence to shock the nation.
Two police officers have also been suspended over the handling of the lynching of Tabrez Ansari, captured on a video that went viral on Indian social media.
The 24-year-old is seen in the video crying and pleading as a mob in Jharkhand state forces him to chant “Jai Sri Ram” — hail Lord Ram — a slogan widely used by Hindu hard-liners.
Ansari had been accused by villagers of carrying out a burglary. He was tied to a pole and beaten for up to 12 hours before police first detained him in Seraikela, and then took him to hospital — where he died Saturday.
“We have arrested 11 people. Two police have also been suspended because they failed to inform seniors about the case and tried to manage it at their level,” Seraikela police chief Karthik S. told AFP.
Media reports said Ansari’s wife has accused police of deliberately taking him to jail first — instead of a hospital — despite the critical injuries he suffered.
News of the death emerged as the Indian government rejected a US State Department report that said religious violence against minorities has spiked under the right-wing Hindu Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The US religious freedom report said there had been growing numbers of attacks by groups claiming to protect cows — considered sacred by Hindus — on Muslims and low-caste Dalits since 2014 when Modi came to power.
Opponents in India have also accused the government of not doing enough to stop lynchings.
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi condemned the killing however, and said the government would not let a “destructive agenda” dominate India’s development efforts.
“People who are involved in such incidents have only one motive — to spoil the positive atmosphere created by the government,” he said.
The opposition Congress party accused Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of failing to protect Muslims and other minorities.
“Can the BJP government honestly refute the US government report on minority safety when Muslims and Dalits are being openly lynched every other day?” said Shama Mohamed, a spokesperson for Congress.


Afghan poll body misses announcing crucial presidential initial vote

Updated 6 min ago

Afghan poll body misses announcing crucial presidential initial vote

  • The chief of the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), blamed technical reasons for missing the timetable
  • She said the results would be announced “as soon as possible”

KABUL: Afghanistan’s election commission conceded its failure to release initial presidential poll results set for Saturday and gave no new deadline for the vote which was marred by Taliban attacks and irregularities.
The presidential poll on Sept. 28 saw the lowest turnout of any elections in Afghanistan since the Taliban’s ousting.
Hawa Alam Nuristani, the chief of the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), blamed technical reasons, particularly slowness in entering data on to the server, for missing the timetable.
“Regrettably, the commission due to technical issues and for the sake of transparency could not announce the presidential election initial poll results,” she said in a brief announcement.
Without naming any camp, Nuristani also said: “A number of observers of election sides (camps) illegally are disrupting the process of elections.” She did not elaborate.
Nuristani said the results would be announced “as soon as possible,” while earlier in the day two IEC members said privately that the delay would take up to a week.
The delay is another blow for the vote that has been twice delayed due to the government’s mismanagement and meetings between the US and the Taliban, which eventually collapsed last month after President Donald Trump declared the talks “dead.”
It further adds to political instability in Afghanistan, which has seen decades of conflict and foreign intervention and faced ethnic divides in recent years.
Both front-runners, President Ashraf Ghani and the country’s chief executive, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, have said that they expect to win.
The pair have been sharing power in Afghanistan as part of a US-brokered deal following the fraudulent polls of 2014.
The IEC has invalidated more than 500,000 votes because they were not conducted through biometric devices, bought for the vote from overseas to minimize the level of cheating in last month’s polls.
Officials of the commission said that nearly 1.8 million votes were considered clean and it was not clear what sort of impact the turnout would have on the legitimacy of the polls and the future government, whose main task will be to resume stalled peace talks with the Taliban.
They said that the slowness of data entry on to the server was one of the technical reasons for the delay in releasing initial poll results.
Yousuf Rashid, a senior official from an election watchdog group, described the delay as a “weakness of mismanagement,” while several lawmakers chided IEC for poor performance.
Abdul Satar Saadat, a former senior leader of an electoral body, told Arab News: “The delay showed IEC’s focus was on transparency” and that should be regarded as a sign that it took the issue of discarding fraudulent votes seriously.