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PATNA (BIHAR) — Two weeks after a 23-year-old Muslim youth was lynched by a mob in Mahartha village in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, police are yet to arrest the main accused even as three persons were arrested on November 13 for helping the accused to abscond. 

On a relatively peaceful occasion of Chhath Puja on October 30, a Muslim youth Mohammad Nehal was lynched by a mob in Mahartha village, which lies 75 kilometres north of the state capital Patna.

The victim Nehal had reportedly gone to meet a girl (who is Hindu) at Chatth ghat on the day of the incident. 

Nehal’s family is grief-stricken and alleged that the police did not reach on time to save their kin even though repeated calls were made to helpline number 112 by the victim on the day of the incident. 

Why was Nihal killed?
As per Nehal’s family, he (Nehal) was in a relationship with a girl from a different religion. On the day of the assault, they said Nehal got a call from the girl who asked him to come to Chhath ghat. “It is where the assault took place as the girl’s relatives caught hold of him and severely beat him with the help of others,” a member of his family said. 

Nehal lived in Hazam Tola (Muslim barbers’ locality) in Muzaffarpur, while the girl is from a nearby area of Bibigang. Both areas fall under the same police station of Brahmpura. On the day of the assault, the girl had reportedly gone to her maternal home in Mahartha to celebrate the Hindu festival of Chhath. 

Nehal’s family claims that on the day of the incident they made frantic calls to the girl’s father pleading with him “to beat Nehal if he so wished but not kill the boy.” 

A court paper, which has gone viral on social media, suggests that Nehal and the girl were married. The paper dated November 20, 2018, is signed by Nehal and the girl. Local media reports suggest that the girl’s father allegedly spread a rumour that Nehal was involved in eve-teasing and gathered people “who beat him to death”. A newspaper report states that the policemen deputed at the ghat did not act and when Kanti police reached the spot the victim could not be saved. 

A first information report (FIR) filed by Nehal’s mother Shamim Khatoon in Kanti Police station names six accused persons besides the other 100 unknown accused. 

Abhishek Anand, DySP East, Muzaffarpur, who is monitoring the case told that it is apparently a case of “planned murder” as Nehal and the girl’s family had a prolonged police case going on between them. Pertinently, in 2019, the girl’s family had filed a case of extortion against Nehal. 

Regarding police deputation, he said, “There are many small ghats, and policemen were deputed in the vicinity but there were no policemen at the place of occurrence.” 

“We have arrested three persons for helping the main accused to abscond. Our team is working tirelessly to nab the culprits with technical surveillance. We have raided many places and hope that the main accused will be arrested soon as the police have collected their contact details,” he said.  

This story was originally published in . Read the full story here