Local leader of India's ruling party arrested for lynching

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-02 14:41:05|Editor: ying
Video PlayerClose

NEW DELHI, July 2 (Xinhua) -- A local leader from the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has been arrested in eastern Indian state of Jharkhand over last week's mob lynching of a Muslim man allegedly for transporting beef in his car, police said Sunday.

"The leader identified as Nityanand Mahto, the media in charge of BJP's Ramgarh unit, was detained by the police along with two others yesterday," a police official said.

On Thursday Alimuddin, also known as Asgar Ansari, was lynched in Ramgarh district, about 48 km north of Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand.

The mob stopped Ansari's car and brutally attacked him on rumors that he was transporting beef.

A senior police officer, R.K. Mullik told media his men immediately reached the spot to save the victim but he succumbed on way to hospital.

"It's premeditated murder," Mullik said. "We have identified 10 people involved in this attack."

According to police, Mahto instigated the mob.

Reports said a video of the incident shows the BJP local leader presented at the spot, dragging Ansari out of the van and then watching the mob thrashing him mercilessly.

The lynching in Ramgarh came hours after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the killing of people by cow vigilantes was unacceptable.

"Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti (devotion towards cows) is not acceptable," Modi said, "No person in this nation has the right to take the law in his or her own hands."

This was second such attack in the Jharkhand.

On Tuesday in Giridih district, a Muslim dairy farmer was brutally assaulted and his house was set ablaze after carcass of a cow was found near his door.

On Wednesday thousands of people gathered in various Indian cities to protest the rising attacks on Muslims by Hindu vigilante cow protection groups.

Majority of Hindus consider cow to be sacred, and its slaughtering is banned in most Indian states. To defend cows, groups under the patronage of rightwing Hindu organizations have come up in rural areas of India to protect them and stop sale of beef. The groups routinely check vehicles and often beat up cattle traders.

Cow slaughtering is a sensitive issue in India and sometimes flares up communal passions.