- Tabrez Ansari was accused of stealing, made to chant "Jai Shri Ram"
- He was thrashed for hours, died from his injuries on June 22
- Accused charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder
Murder charges against the men accused in a fatal mob attack on a 24-year-old in Jharkhand in June were dropped because the post-mortem report said he died of a cardiac arrest, the police have said.
Amid a controversy over the case chargesheet - details of which have emerged in media reports this month - the police said they have filed charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against 11 men accused in the attack on 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari. A twelfth accused was arrested on Saturday after he surrendered.
Tabrez Ansari was thrashed for hours and forced to chant "Jai Shri Ram" on June 18 on suspicion of stealing a motorcycle with two other young men in Jharkhand's Seraikela Kharsawan. He died from his injuries four days later on June 22 in a hospital. The incident was filmed by witnesses.
"Medical report did not give any supporting evidence for murder so that we charged (the accused) under culpable homicide not amounting to murder which is also equally punishable if not to the extent of murder sections," Karthik S, a senior police officer in Jharkhand, told NDTV.
He said that two separate post-mortem reports found the same thing - Tabrez Ansari died of a cardiac arrest.
"Once we got the medical report, we asked for second opinion from higher level of experts. They also gave same sort of opinion," Karthik S said.
Asked about complaints by the victim's family that said Tabrez's head had been completely bashed in, the police superintendent said they could only go by the medical reports.
"That you have to ask the medical experts. I am not expert in that case. When we had doubts, we went for a second opinion. The experts have given their opinion that he died of a (cardiac) arrest because stress - mental or physical ailment," he said.
Both the police as well as doctors who examined him first were held responsible for Tabrez Ansari's death by a three-member team led by Saraikela-Kharwan Deputy Commissioner Anjaneyullu Dodde set up to probe its cause.
"While the police reached late, the doctors did not diagnose the skull injury correctly," the report, which came out in July, had said.