A shocking case came to light from the Lathehar district of Jharkhand where a Dalit man was paraded with show garlands for standing up against the village pradhan. Notably, the pradhan, Nassir Ansari, and his son Babur Ansari called for a panchayat where they issued this unjust judgement against the Dalit man. Following the act, the victim’s family lodged an FIR against the accused and soon they were arrested.
Why the punishment
Bhikhari Ganjhu, a resident of Khedu village, which falls under the Latehar district of Jharkhand, became a victim of atrocities. On September 10, the village pradhan, Nassir Ansari, headed a meeting at the government school in the village.
A few months back, the people of the village assembled to have a party. At this party, the people were provided with mutton and rice. The locals prepared the food together and ate. After cutting the goat, Nassir’s son Babur went to wash off the blood at Ganjhu’s house, which had a tap in the lawn.
While Ganjhu was out for work, his wife, Sakunti Devi, asked him not to wash the meat in her house. Ansari was angered over this and he put pressure on their community members to dismember them from the community. Since then, the family is living alone in the village.
Some time back, Ganjhu’s relatives wanted to distribute land and then they asked him to join the family back. Ansari sought law and said the Panchayat will decide what needs to be done with Ganjhu.
The meeting was organised on September 10, to decide if Ganjhu and their family would be allowed to join his community or not. One of his community members said, he should be allowed to join them back and this irked Nassir, who issued fatwa-like punishment for them.
What says the police?
As per a press note issued by the police, after Ansari and other villagers made Ganjhu parade with shoe garland, his wife registered a police complaint.
A First Information Report (number–44/2023) was registered at the Herhanj police station of the Latehar district. Based on her complaint the accused, Nassir Ansari, Babur Ansari, Vinod Pahan, and Brijmohan Bhuiya were booked under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentionally insult), 506 (criminal intimidation), 499 (defamation), 500 (punishment for defamation) and other sections of the Prevention of Atrocities Act.
Ganjhu’s wife said, that at the meeting the whole village decided that if the family wished to return to the community they would have to apologise and then this shoe garland parade happened. Considering the state of the family, Ganjhu agreed to apologise but what the villagers did to him was unacceptable to his wife and then the FIR was lodged.