On the night of 11 November, Monday, Mohammad Jamal was lynched by four men while he was on his way to sell cows about thirty kilometers from Katihar in eastern Bihar.
Jamal was taken to a government hospital where he was declared dead the same night.
The Quint confirmed that Jamal was with his uncle and cousin brother with cows to sell, when they were tracked and stopped by four men at Labha enroute West Bengal. Sagar Yadav, a local goon, and three members of his family, asked them to pay money to use the road for cattle transport.
While Jamal’s cousin and uncle broke their grip and ran away, Jamal was brutally beaten up by the goons.
“The accused in the case are strong people in the area who wanted money for allowing trade. This is why the argument happened. Later Jamal’s family managed to run but he got caught and died. His post-mortem is being conducted.” — Vikas Kumar, superintendent of police, Katihar
On the morning of 12 November, after Jamal’s body had come home and relatives started pouring in, a commotion ensued. The angry crowd had to be dispelled by local administration officials.
The officer added that as of 13 November none of the accused had been arrested and a search was on. “An FIR under section 302 (punishment for murder), 384 (extortion) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC has been registered at Roushna op police station,” he said.
“Naahi ye mob lynching hai, naahi ye kuch aur hai. (Neither is it a mob lynching nor is it anything else),” Kumar said repeatedly.
Human rights lawyers said the police often does not understand what a mob lynching is.
Lynch Mob: A crowd of people who kill or try to kill (someone) illegally as a punishment
“First of all there is no section of mob lynching which is separate. So the police would primarily just be concerned about the media narrative of the case, which is why they keep saying it is not a mob lynching, which it is. It is a word activists, lawyers and journalists use in everyday parlance but not a term rooted in legality,” Aman Khan from Human Rights law Network said.
This story first appeared in The Quint on November 13, 2019 here.