JHARKAND – A Muslim man who was arrested in Jharkhand for allegedly sharing objectionable comments on beef on WhatsApp died in custody on Sunday. Minhaz Ansari’s family in Jamtara district alleges that he was beaten up and tortured by the police.

According to NDTV, Mr Ansari was picked up in a group on October 2 over the offensive WhatsApp message. He was arrested a day later, while the others were allowed to go.

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Two days after the arrest, Mr Ansari’s family learnt that he had been shifted to a hospital in Dhanbad, around 80 km away.

The police claim that the 22-year-old died of encephalitis. They admit, however, to “lapses” by police officer Harish Pathak, who was in charge of Mr Ansari’s arrest and questioning. He has been suspended and charged with murder, NDTV reported

“After Ansari’s death, the attempt to murder charge has been changed to a murder charge,” said Mr Dubey. He said that medical reports indicate Ansari was suffering from encephalitis and “it appears that the officer-in-charge did not check on this.”

Mr Ansari died on October 7 in hospital.