Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
RANCHI – Thirty-two-year-old Mazloom Ansari had been threatened many a time to roll up his cattle trade business. Fearing for his life, he decided to sell his remaining cattle at a cattle fair to start a new business. Ansari, along with his partner’s son Imtiaz Khan, a minor set off for the cattle fair. However, in the wee hours of March 18, 2016, the duo was lynched to death, following which their dead bodies were hung from a tree in Latehar district’s Jhabar village.
Three years down the line, life has become difficult for Mazloom Ansari’s surviving family members. Ansari was the sole breadwinner of the family and is survived by four daughters, one son and his wife. His in-laws (wife’s parents) were also completely dependent on Ansari. With the sole earner gone and no source of income, the family is being forced to lead a life of austerity and hardship.
According to the family, the government neither provided any compensation, employment or any other source of income for the victim’s family. Thereby, they have been compelled to live on help being doled out to them by well-wishers.
Widow of Ansari, Saira Bibi, while talking to Caravan Daily, said, “We are facing extreme hardships. I have small kids to take care of. My declining health is making it impossible for me to take up work. Every time that I join someplace I fall sick. With the acute financial crisis, we are even falling short of food. The children want food to eat and I have no money to buy them food.”
With a grim voice, she describes her crisis, “I have eight family members to take care of – five children and my elderly parents. But we have no breadwinner for our family.” Saira’s parents have been living with her as she is their only child. She said that she could not express in words the hardship that she has been facing. She added that she has received some help from some well-wishers but that is not sufficient for her to sustain her family needs.
“Till date, we have neither been given any compensation or employment by the government. If the government provides employment for me then at least I will be able to take care of my children and parents in a better way. I will be able to educate them,” said Saira Bibi.
Her children at present study in government schools, but she said that not much is taught in the government-run schools. She added that she would like to send them to a private school when she becomes financially empowered.
Mazloom Ansari’s widow had also been promised to be provided with a chapakal (handpump) among other things by the Jharkhand government but she is yet to get those promised things, as she informed.
Rubbing salt to the injury of the victims was Union Minister Jayant Sinha, garlanding those accused in the Ramgarh lynching case, once they were out on bail. But making the matter more grave was the fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is ruling the state had provided legal assistance to those accused in the lynching case, while the state government completely failed to provide justice to the victims.
“Despite lynching becoming a national issue which drew national outrage, little has been done to deliver justice to the victims. It is a matter of shame even for the society that the surviving family members of the victims are dying without food. The government simply made empty promises. They even failed to provide compensation to the families of the victims,” said Nadeem Khan, a social activist, who has been relentlessly working for the victims of mob lynching to get justice.
He further claimed, “The government is itself is one of the partners in these killings. Raghubar Das (chief minister of Jharkhand) had visited the house of the prime accused three days prior to the killing of Mazloom Ansari.”
“If the government is itself is a party in the incident, then what can you expect from the state machinery?” said Nadeem Khan.
Khan, who is the founding member of United Against Hate, further blamed the Muslim organizations for failing to look after the families of the victims.
“Their sole breadwinner is no more. Big Muslim organizations, which collect zakat, don’t care about them. They are aware of their condition. I have even talked to these organizations and even appealed to them to extend their help to these families, but I was politely told that they would consider these cases and revert. These poor people, who are the real victims, keep calling me up. I’m simply a social activist with no resources in my hand, what can I do for them? I feel ashamed that till date no Muslim organization has come forward to adopt these families,” said Khan.
Editor’s note: People interested in helping the victim’s family may write to us for details at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com