Jamshedpur: The kin of the four people lynched on May 18, 2017, over child theft rumour at Nagadih village, 10 km from here, on Wednesday said only capital punishment for the accused will ensure justice for them.
Vikas Verma, his brother Gautam Verma, friend Gangesh Gupta (all aged between 24 and 26 years), and Verma’s grandmother Ramsakhi Devi (76) were killed by villagers over a rumour of child theft. Three died on the spot, while the elderly woman passed away 28 days later.
They were residents of Jugsalai Naya Bazar, located about three km away.
An FIR was lodged against 38 people with the Bagbera police station on the statement of Uttam Verma, the elder brother of deceased Gautam and Vikas. The main accused are Nagadih ‘mukhiya’ Rajaram Hansda and ‘gram pradhan’ Jagat Mardi. Trial is on at the sessions court in Jamshedpur.
“Only capital punishment to the accused will give justice to the souls of the deceased,” said Uttam Verma, remembering the victims on their fifth death anniversary.
Out of the 38 accused, five are yet to be arrested, 32 are out on bail, while only one is in jail.
The accused have been charged under 17 different sections of the IPC, including 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 324 (voluntarily causes hurt by means of any instrument).
Uttam said Vikas and he had gone to Nagadih to put up banners for their newly launched septic tank construction business. While they were scouting for a suitable spot, about 12 to 15 people sitting on the roadside suddenly came towards them and started slapping them, he added.
“Somebody from the crowd said you are a child thief. They asked us to show our Aadhaar card when we introduced ourselves. I rang up my family members at home,” Uttam said.
Gautam, his grandmother and friend Gangesh rushed to the spot carrying the Aadhaar card but the mob was not satisfied.
A patrolling police jeep arrived at the spot and told the crowd that they were taking the four to the police station for questioning.
However, before Vikas, Gautam, and Gangesh could board the jeep, the mob went berserk and started pelting stones, triggering a stampede in which the three young boys and the elderly woman were killed. Uttam managed to escape.
Uttam said they had demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident but in vain.
The Verma family organised a programme to pay tribute to the deceased.

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