A 24-year-old man accused of stealing a motorcycle died on Saturday, days after he was beaten up by a mob near the border of Jharkhand's Seraikela-Kharsawan and East Singhbhum districts, NDTVreported on Monday.
Shams Tabrez was caught by a mob, tied to a pole and profusely beaten for several hours on Tuesday evening, and was handed over to the police on Wednesday after falling unconscious due to the severe beating. His family has alleged that Tabrez was forced to chant 'Jai Sri Ram' and 'Jai Hanuman' by the mob.
A video of the incident has been widely circulated on social media.
The incident took place on June 18 when Tabrez Ansari was returning along with his two friends from Jamshedpur, in neighbouring East Singhbhum district.
Some villagers caught them and accused them of stealing a motorcycle at Dhatkidih village in Seraikela-Kharsawan district, police said.
Though Ansari's friends managed to escape, he was tied to a pole and beaten up with sticks through the night, they said.
He was then handed over to police by the villagers, Superintendent of Police (SP) Karthik S said.
Police said on June 21, Ansari was rushed to the Saraikela Sadar (district) Hospital after he complained of uneasiness. The following day, he was referred to the Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur, where he was declared brought dead, they said.
One person was arrested on Sunday in connection with the incident, police said.
Ansari's wife has lodged a complaint in which she has named several people, a police officer said.
Asked about a video of the incident in which the mob is purportedly heard forcing Ansari to chant some slogans, police said a case has been lodged against the accused for inciting "communal sentiments".
"Papu Mandal, has been arrested and an inquiry into the incident is on," the SP said.
The relatives of the deceased allege that police ignored their plea for his proper treatment and are demanding strict action against the police and the mob which beat up Tabrez, according to the report.
"Some locals thrashed Tabrej and later gave him over to the police. He was suspected of theft but it was a communal attack. He was beaten because he had a Muslim name. They made him chant 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Jai Hanuman' again and again. We were not allowed to meet him at the hospital. We have the video of the incident. I demand the culprits be arrested," Tabrej's relative Maqsood Alam was quoted as saying by ANI.
"We want action against the police personnel who were on duty at that time," another relative said.
Incidentally, India on Sunday rejected a US religious freedom report, saying it sees no locus standi for a foreign government to pronounce on the state of its citizens' constitutionally protected rights.
In its annual 2018 International Religious Freedom Report, the State Department alleged that mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against minority communities, particularly Muslims, continued in India in 2018, amid rumours that victims had traded or killed cows for beef.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)