RAMGARH/RANCHI: Police arrested BJP leader Nityanand Mahto on Saturday in connection with the lynching of a Muslim trader by a mob in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh two days ago.
A mob of more than 100 people on June 29 had lynched 55-yearold Alimuddin alias Asgar Ali, a resident of nearby Manuwa village, on suspicion of carrying beef in his car. The incident occurred at Bazartand in Ramgarh town when the mob intercepted the van, pulled him out, and thrashed him. Ali succumbed to injuries while on the way to the hospital.
“Nityanand Mahto has been arrested while Chottu surrendered before the court on Saturday. The latter is the prime accused. Chottu was found beating the deceased with a stick in the video footage,” said Ramgarh SP Kaushal Kishore, adding that one Santosh Singh had been arrested on the first day.
Mahto is the BJP’s Ramgarh district media-in-charge. The police had also detained a member of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) of Ramgarh district for interrogation but later released him finding no evidence against him, police sources said.
After his arrest, Mahto clarified that he was innocent. He stated that he had visited the spot after the arrival of the police to take stock of the incident. He demanded a fair investigation in the matter.
Reacting to the arrest of saffron activists, state BJP’s mediain-charge Shivpujan Pathak said, “Chief minister Raghubar Das has already made it clear that nobody involved in the incident would be spared irrespective of his/her socio-political stature. He has also instructed the police in this regard. So, the party will not defend anybody. However, the accused is having a right of fair trial.”
On Friday, police had formed a special investigation team (SIT) under deputy superintendent of police (DSP) to investigate the alleged murder and four teams were set up to nab the accused.