22 Mar 2018: Jharkhand: 11 gaurakshaks get life sentence for lynching a trader
In a first, 11 men were sentenced to life in Jharkhand's Ramgarh district on Wednesday for lynching a Muslim trader last year, suspecting that he was transporting beef.
Convicted of killing 55-year-old trader Alimuddin Ansari on June 29, 2017, they were fined Rs. 2,000 each.
However, the fast-track court is yet to decide about the 12th convict, who is a juvenile.
The incident: A crowd of 100 people killed him on mere suspicion
Over 100 people lynched Alimuddin alias Asgar Ali in June last year at Ramgarh's Bazartand, about 45km from capital city Ranchi.
Out to buy meat from local market, he was on his way home when the crowd killed him and set his van ablaze.
Notably, hours before Alimuddin's murder, PM Narendra Modi had slammed vigilante violence on the pretext of protecting cows.
Fact: Alimuddin's lynching case was wrapped up within six months
The Jharkhand government had requested the state high court to constitute a fast-track court, especially for the Ramgarh lynching incident. The charge sheet was filed in September and the trial got completed in less than six months.
Reactions: Defense to move Jharkhand HC against the decision
Meanwhile, the prosecution is trying that the juvenile be tried as an adult since he is older than 16 years.
However, the defense plans to challenge the convictions at the Jharkhand High Court.
In the interim, the fast-track court has ordered district legal services authority to compensate Alimuddin's family.
Welcoming the judgment, his wife Mariam Khatun told Hindustan Times, "The accused deserved nothing less".
Fact: Other instances
There have been several lynching instances over cow protection across India in the last few years, the most prominent being the murders of Mohammad Akhlaq in UP's Dadri in 2015 and Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan's Alwar in 2017. Both the cases are currently under trial.