Jharkhand High Court orders CBI probe into mob lynching of Rupesh Pandey in Hazaribagh

Ranchi: Jharkhand High Court on Friday ordered CBI to take up an investigation into the Rupesh Pandey murder case. The order was passed by Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi on a writ petition filed by Rupesh’s mother Urmilla Devi seeking an independent probe into the murder. Urmilla Devi in her petition pleaded that though the police registered an FIR, the investigation into the matter is slack.

Her counsel told the court that the police are investigating the matter at a tardy pace which will destroy evidence and affect witnesses of the case. Seventeen-year-old Pandey, the only child of his parents, was killed during the immersion of Saraswati idols on February 6 which lead to widespread violence in the area.

Hazaribag police had said that the boy was not lynched but was killed due to a clash that was a fallout of an old rivalry. There was no communal angle in the incident, the police said. Rupesh Pandey’s death had created ripples in the political circles of the state and had earned nationwide condemnation. 

Pandey was in his shop at Barhi in Hazaribagh when his friends called him to join an immersion ceremony of Saraswati Puja on the fateful day and was assaulted brutally allegedly by minority community members at Dulmaha village. The post-mortem report revealed that blood clots had developed and internal organs had failed as a result of the assault. Injury marks were found all over Pandey’s body, including the eyes, ears, chest, belly, and legs. 

Strong and heavy items were used in the attack. A sharp weapon was also used against him and strangulation attempts were made. The FIR has been registered against one Aslam Miyan, who is said to have led the mob, and others. The mob allegedly also comprised of women who assaulted Pandey. 

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