Jharkhand, July 2: Ramgarh police have arrested a ruling BJP leader, Nityanand Mahto on Saturday in connection with the lynching of a Muslim trader who was accused of carrying beef in his car. Two others have also been arrested in the case.
Nityanand Mahto, the media in-charge of the BJP's Ramgarh unit, was arrested by the police along with two others from the house of local party unit chief Pappu Banerjee on Saturday.
However, the BJP leader has climed innocence by saying that had visited the spot after the police arrived to take stock of the incident, and demanded a fair investigation into the matter.
Police sources said that a member of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad of Ramgarh district for interrogation but released him later due to lack of evidence.
On Thursday, Alimuddin alias Asgar Ansari was carrying the "banned meat" in a Maruti van. A group of people stopped him near Bajartand village and brutally attacked him, the sources said. His van was set on fire too. Police personnel rescued him and took him to a hospital where he died during the course of treatment.
The officer, RK Malik, had called it "premeditated murder". He said the attackers seemed to have been lying in wait for Mr Ansari, who was "involved in some trading or business of meat." The killers he said have been identified and are suspected to be people who had business dealings with Mr Ansari. He said he could not confirm whether Mr Ansari was carrying beef.
A video of the brutal incident also went viral following which police have arrested eight of the 13 people named in the FIR. The other five have been identified and would be arrested soon, officials said.
The incident took place hours after Prime Minister Modi said that killing people in the name of cow protection is not acceptable.