Two men affiliated with fringe Hindutva outfits were among the six arrested in Patna, Bihar, for the murder of a teenager, who was found dead 10 days after protesting against the amendments to the Citizenship Act on December 21, The Indian Express reported on Friday.
The deceased, 18-year-old Amir Hanzla, worked at a bag stitching unit in Phulwari Sharif area and was last seen with the national flag in hand at a protest called by the Rashtriya Janata Dal.
Police have charged Nagesh Samrat of the Hindu Putra Sangathan and Vikas Kumar of the Hindu Samaj Sangathan in Hanzla’s murder case.
Phulwari Sharif police station in-charge Rafiqur Rahman told the newspaper that according to their investigation the teenager tried to leave the protest after police used force to disperse the mob. “Amir was then held by some boys in the Sangat Gali area,” he added. “The post-mortem report shows that bricks and other blunt objects were used to kill him. There were head injuries and marks of two cuts on the body. A lot of blood had deposited in the abdominal area suggesting internal bleeding.”
Rahman said Samrat and Kumar were the “main instigators” behind the communal tension during the protest on December 21, adding that the charges against them also includes communal conspiracy.
One of the videos purportedly showed Kumar accusing the police of “torturing Hindus” and him calling “all Hindu sons” to “come to Phulwari Sharif”. In another video, Samrat declared himself the “son of a Hindu” and said that he has “reached Phulwari”.
The Bihar Police Special Branch had sought to obtain the details about Hindu Putra Sangathan in May last year.
Rahman said the top functionaries of the two organisations will be questioned. “There has been a trend of such groups mobilising crowds from outside,” he said. “These two boys are not from Patna. There had been similar mobilisation of crowds during communal tension three years ago. We are gathering more corroborative evidence. We have a strong case.”
The other accused in the case have been identified as Deepak Mahto, Chhotu Mahto, Sanoj Mahto, and Rais Paswan. Police said they were “known criminals”.
Hanzla’s father Sohail Ahmed said it was the first time his son participated in any protest.
His decomposed, mutilated body was recovered from a pit near the Phulwari Sharif block office.
The Opposition leaders in the state on Thursday expressed shock over the murder of the boy, PTI reported. Congress MLA Shakeel Ahmed Khan demanded a speedy trial in the case. “The incident raises a question mark over Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s claim of good governance,” he said. “Here is an 18-year- old boy, abducted by small-time thugs of his locality, who murder him and dump his body to a spot that is close to the office of the Deputy SP. We demand expeditious arrests of all the accused, investigation into any complicity on part of the police and a speedy trial so that all those who are guilty, directly or indirectly, are brought to justice.”