JHARKHAND – A local BJP leader in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh has been arrested over last week’s mob lynching of a Muslim man who was accused of carrying beef in his car, reported NDTV. Two others have also been arrested in the case.

Nityanand Mahto, the media in-charge of the BJP’s Ramgarh unit, was picked up by police on Saturday along with two others from the house of local party unit chief Pappu Banerjee.

Police say that Nityanand Mahto instigated the mob – a video of the incident, they say, shows that the BJP leader was not just present at the spot but he dragged Ansari out of the van. As he watched, the mob then thrashed Mr Ansari mercilessly, say police.

The incident was described as a ‘premeditated murder’ by RK Malik. He said the attackers seemed to have been waiting for Ansari, who was from the neighbouring Hazaribagh district and was ‘involved in some trading or business of meat’. The killers, he said, are suspected to be people who had business dealings with Ansari. He said he could not confirm whether Ansari was carrying beef.

On Friday, police made the first arrest in the case – a hunt is on for eight others.

The attack in Ramgarh came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the killing of people by cow vigilantes is unacceptable. “Killing people in the name of Gau Bhakti [cow worship] is not acceptable,” said the PM. “No person has the right to take the law in his or her own hands in this country.”