A fast-track court on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to 11 people who were convicted for lynching a meat trader in June last year. The trader was killed over suspicion that he was carrying beef in his car. Judge Om Prakash had on Friday found the 11 people guilty under various sections of the IPC. The 11 people were booked under charges including 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapons) and 149 (unlawful assembly). Alimuddin Ansari, 40, was lynched to death in Bazaar Tand locality of Ramgarh town on June 29, 2017. The group of people first stopped the car and then thrashed Ansari on the suspicion that he was carrying beef in his car.
However, forensic tests confirmed that the meat he was carrying was beef. The sale of beef is banned in the state. Speaking to media, Additional Public Prosecutor SK Sukla said there were 12 accused in total, and one of them is a minor.
Sukla said that an appeal to treat the minor as an adult has been moved in Juvenile Justice Board. The chargesheet against the accused was filed in the case on September 17.
During the investigation, police found that one of the accused followed Ansari for about two hours on June 29. He later informed two others about the victim’s location, before catching hold of him at city’s Bazaar Tand area. The accused had also torched the vehicle of the victim. As per call records, one of the person was in touch with the other two from around 7.30 am on June 29.
The BJP-ruled state had witnessed a spade of cow-related lynchings cases between May and June last year. The issue was raised in the Parliament and a number of Opposition party MPs questioned authorities’ resolve to curb the incidents.
Facing criticism, Raghubar Das-led state government had warned officials that they would be held responsible for any such cases reported in their jurisdictions. Also, Das government had requested the Jharkhand High Court to constitute a special fast track court in the case. Jharkhand Police filed the charge sheet in the case in September. The proceedings in the case were completed in less than six months.