- No arrests even 3 weeks after Zainul Ansari's murder in Sitamarhi
- Police says it will resume investigation after Chhath Puja
- Victim's family says it has given a photo of the accused to police
Three weeks after 82-year-old man was hacked to death by a mob in Bihar's Sitamarhi, the investigations have come to a standstill, owing to Chhath puja. The police say they need to ensure that the festival passes off peacefully, after which the investigation can be resumed.
Over the last three weeks, no one has been arrested for the murder of Zainul Ansari, whose charred body was found in the area from where a violent mob had passed on October 20. A day earlier, a clash had broken out between two groups near the Gaushala Chowk area on the outskirts of the town after rumours that stones were pelted on a religious process.
Sitamarhi Superintendent of Police (SP) Vikash Burman said action in this case will be taken after Chhath Puja over as the police's "entire attention is on ensuring that the festival passes without any disturbance".
Zainul Ansari was killed on his way back from his sister's place a day after violence broke out in Sitamarhi. The family found out about his murder only after four days, through a picture which had gone viral.
Even though there is an alleged video of his murder, the police hasn't been able to arrest any of the accused.
The SP said that 38 people have been arrested but that is in connection with the communal clashes, not Zainul Ansari's murder.
Waiting for justice, the victim's family says that they have given a photograph of one of the accused to the police, but he is yet to be identified.
"I don't know what the police did. Initially when we were looking for our father they said, there has been no murder. Later when we pressed, they told us that there is a burnt body," said Zainul Ansari's son Ashraf, recounting the family's ordeal.
The family stays at their ancestral house a few kilometers from Sitamarhi town. They administration has given them five lakh rupees as compensation.
"The administration is doing its job but so far there has been no progress in catching the murderers," Mr Ashraf said.