A Special Fast Track court in Ramgarh, Jharkhand, on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to 11 of the 12 accused persons in a case involving the lynching of a trader from minority community for allegedly transporting meat in his vehicle in June last year. The court deferred its decision on 12th convict, said to be a juvenile.
Earlier on March 16, the court of the additional district judge-II of Ramgarh Om Prakash had held all the accused persons guilty under various sections of Indian Penal Code, including 302 (murder). They were accused of lynching a meat trader Alimuddin Ansari alias Asgar Ali at Bazartand locality in Ramgarh on June 29, 2017.
The 11 accused persons were identified as Santosh Singh, Deepak Mishra, Vicky Saw, Sikandar Ram, Uttam Ram, Vikram Prasad, Raju Kumar, Rohit Thakur, Chottu Verma, Kapil Thakur and a local BJP leader Nityanand Mahto.
The State government had requested the Jharkhand High Court to constitute a special fast track court for a speedy trial of the case. The district police had filed the charge sheet in September last year and the trial was completed in less than six months.
“Besides, sentencing them for life term the court has also slapped a fine of ₹2,000 on each the accused,” said additional public prosecutor Sushil Kumar Shukla.
Compensation for kin
The court also directed the district services legal authority (DLSA) to initiate proceedings for ensuring adequate compensation to the victim’s family.
Speaking to journalists, Mr Shukla said this was the first case of cow vigilantism in the country where the accused persons have been convicted and punished.
The accused persons said they would appeal the verdict in a higher court.
Alimuddin Ansari, 55, who was transporting meat in his van from Chitarpur area of Ramgarh was attacked by alleged followers of a gau raksha samiti (cow vigilante outfit) on June 29 last year. The group intercepted him near a gas agency at Bazartand area under Ramgarh Police Station area and set his van on fire before lynching him in full public view. A video of the incident later went viral on social media and private news channels.
Reacting to the sentencing of 11 accused persons in the case, Mariam Khatun, widow of Alimuddin Ansari told journalists that, though, death of her husband was an irreparable loss for her family “but I do not want more bloodshed….want to live in peace with family and society”.