Minhaj Ansari, the 22-year-old who was arrested for allegedly sharing an objectionable comment about beef on WhatsApp died at a hospital in Jharkhand on Sunday.
His death comes less than a week after his arrest and his family has claimed that Ansari was beaten up and tortured in police custody; police officers cited medical records that showed Ansari was suffering from encephalitis.
However, police officers have admitted lapses on the part of the officer-in-charge of Narayanpura police station, Sub-Inspector Harish Pathak and he has been suspended and an FIR of murder has been registered against him.
According to police, a WhatsApp message that purportedly made an objectionable comment about beef started doing the rounds in Dighari village of Narayanpura, in Jamtara district, on October 2. After a few people were detained as suspects, majority of them were released except Ansari.
His family said that he was shifted to Dhanbad for treatment after he reportedly sustained injuries in police custody. “They went to the police station along with other villagers. There was a scuffle at the police station between Ansari’s parents and the officer-in-charge, Harish Pathak. Ansari’s family filed a written complaint against Pathak, following which an FIR of attempt to murder and outraging the modesty of a woman was registered against him. The officer was suspended immediately. After Ansari’s death, the attempt to murder charge has been changed to a murder charge,” said Jamtara Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Kumar Dubey.
On October 7, Ansari was shifted to RIMS, where he died two days later.
“While an inquiry is on, the medical reports indicate that Ansari was suffering from encephalitis. It appears that the officer-in-charge did not check on this,” said Jamtara SP Manoj Kumar Singh. However, he denied allegations that Ansari’s family was not informed about his medical condition.