Protests Against the Spate of Lynch Mob Killings in Jharkhand

Following circulation of rumours on WhatsApp about child-lifting, seven people were killed on 18 May 2017 by lynch mobs near Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. Three of those killed in the first incident at Rajnagar on 18 May morning were Sheikh Sajju (25), Sheikh Siraj (26) and Naim (35). Another member of this group, Sheikh Halim (28), was initially reported missing but his body was found in the locality on Friday. In the second incident Gautam Verma (27), his brother Vikas Verma (25), and their friend Gangesh Gupta were beaten to death in front of their 80-year-old grandmother as they were returning to Jamshedpur. The elder brother of Gautam and Vikas suffered injuries in the attack.

In similar incidents, two others were killed on May 12 and 13 in the same area. The Raghubar Das Government and its police and district administrations do nothing to prevent such lynch mobs from forming and carrying out murderous violence. We demand justice for the victims of the lynch mob killings in Jharkhand and all over India.

In BJP-ruled states, impunity assured by the state machinery and the murderous culture of lynch mobs, patronised by Sangh outfits and fuelled by rumours on social media, has become the new ‘normal’.

On 19 May, a feudal landlord in Garhwa shot dead three youths from a Yadav family. On 11 May, a feudal mob of over 100 people attacked a Dalit hamlet Sultani Balra in Hariharganj thana, Palamu district and indulged in loot and violence in the police’s presence. On 19 May, villagers protesting illegal sand mining in Palamu district were shot dead. On 13 May, a young worker Vikas Munda was killed in police custody in Namkum thana, Ranchi.

On 19-20 May 2017, CPI(ML) held state-wide protests against the Raghubar Das Government for its utter failure to intervene to curb rumours, calm people’s apprehensions about child-lifting and prevent lynch mob from running amok. A CPI(ML) team visited the family whose members were killed at Balughat, Garhwa district, holding a district-level protest on 20 May and a district Bandh on 21 May.