Jharkhand police have dropped murder charges against the mob that attacked 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari because the postmortem report says he died of a cardiac arrest, NDTV reported the police as saying.
The case chargesheet reveals that the police have filed charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against 11 men accused in the attack on Tabrez Ansari. A twelfth accused was arrested on Saturday after he surrendered.
Tabrez Ansari was thrashed for hours and forced to chant "Jai Shri Ram" on June 18 on suspicion of stealing a motorcycle with two other young men in Jharkhand's Seraikela Kharsawan.
After the incident, which was also filmed on camera by witnesses, Tabrez died in police custody four days later on June 22 after complaining of ill-health.
"Medical report did not give any supporting evidence for murder so that we charged (the accused) under culpable homicide not amounting to murder which is also equally punishable if not to the extent of murder sections," Karthik S, a senior police officer in Jharkhand, told NDTV.
He said that two separate post-mortem reports found the same thing - Tabrez Ansari died of a cardiac arrest.
"Once we got the medical report, we asked for the second opinion from a higher level of experts. They also gave same sort of opinion," Karthik S said.
Meanwhile, the victim's family said in their complaints that Tabrez's head had been completely bashed in and that he died due to the injuries he sustained in the attack.
The police superintendent, however, said they could only go by the medical reports.
"That you have to ask the medical experts. I am not expert in that case. When we had doubts, we went for a second opinion. The experts have given their opinion that he died of a (cardiac) arrest because stress - mental or physical ailment," he said.
Interestingly though, both the police, as well as doctors who examined him first, were held responsible for Tabrez Ansari's death by a three-member team led by Saraikela-Kharwan Deputy Commissioner Anjaneyullu Dodde set up to probe its cause.
"While the police reached late, the doctors did not diagnose the skull injury correctly," the report, which came out in July, had said.