The violent actions were recorded in a 10-minute video that shows the wounded Ansari was forced to shout “Jai Shri Ram" (Hail Lord Ram), a common saying used by Hindus.
A Muslim man was lynched by a mob of Hindu vigilantes on June 17 in the northeastern state of Jharkhand, to succumb to his injuries four days later, in what seems to be a new case of growing religious violence in India.
"An environment has been created across the country that enables and encourages this kind of violence," Harsh Mander, a founding member of Karwan-e-Mohabbat (A caravan of love), a solidarity campaign for victims hit by hate violence, including lynchings, told Al Jazeera.
The victim was Tabrez Ansari, 24, who was accused of stealing a motorcycle in the Kharsawan district. His attackers, about a dozen Hindu vigilantes, tied Ansari to an electricity pole and beat him for nearly 12 hours.
The violent actions were recorded in a 10-minute video that shows the wounded Ansari was forced to shout “Jai Shri Ram" (Hail Lord Ram), a common saying used by Hindus. His beaten body was then handed to police the next day who arrested him for theft.
“He was not only lynched by a mob, there was an obvious religious hatred in the manner it was done by asking him to shout Hindu slogans,” Mander added.
Ansari was just transferred to a hospital four days later, where he died on June 22. His family alleges that police denied him treatment despite his injuries, while state officials have denied any wrongdoing.
"It is a pattern by the police; they tend to register cases against the victim [first] rather than the accused,” Mander explained.
On Monday Indian police informed they arrested one person and are searching for a dozen others. Yet this sort of religious violence is not new to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government of Jharkhand. Hate Crime Watch, a database of hate crimes across India by FactCheckIndia, reported 14 similar in the state in the last three years.
Consequently, on June 21, the United States (U.S.) State Department published the 2018 religious freedom report, which said religious intolerance and violence has increased against minorities in India since 2014 when the Hindu nationalist BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power. As a response, the government rejected the U.S.’ claims.
The latest death is one of an amounting number of murders of Muslims accused of allegedly killing cows (sacred to Hinduism), beef possession, theft or as chief of the regional All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party, Asaduddin Owaisi said “mere suspicions,” which can be sufficient to incite a hate crime.