Fateh Veer Singh Guram @ The Hush Post: In a first, a trial court of Jharkhand convicted 11 ‘gau rakshaks’ who were involved in a cow vigilantism related lynching case. The 11 people were convicted under IPC Section 302 (murder). A local BJP leader is among the 11 accused. It is for the first time in the country that such a conviction has taken place.
While all of them were convicted for murder, 3 of the accused were also convicted under IPC Section 120 B (conspiracy). This shows that the court felt that the attack was pre-planned and not ‘accidental’, as claimed by the attackers.
The mob consisting of the 11 people had lynched Alimuddin alias Asgar Ansari in Ramgarh. The incident took place on June 29, 2017, based on suspicions that he was carrying beef. Carrying around 200 kg of meat in his van, his car was set on fire. While the police intervened in this case, the victim succumbed to his injuries. A video of the assault also went viral, which showed the attackers beating Ansari, with his car set on fire in the background.
Blaming the Bajrang Dal for the death of her husband, Ansari’s wife, Mariam Khatoon said that the attackers had pledged allegiance to the Hindu outfit. The case also got delayed in October, when one of the witnesses’ wife was killed in an accident outside the courtroom. The witness, Alimuddin’s brother, Jalil Ansari, had asked his wife to go get his identity proof from home. Jalil’s wife was accompanied by Alimuddin’s son, Shahzad Ansari, when the accident took place. Mariam Khatoon alleged that the accident was made to happen deliberately to slow down the trial. While the sentencing will take place on March 20, the lawyer of the defendants has said they will take the case to the higher courts.
In the last four years, nearly 28 people have been killed, while 124 have been injured in cow related violence across the country. Taking note of this, the Supreme Court, in a September 2017 order, said that “each state should appoint a police officer in each district as a nodal officer to take strict action against cow vigilantism.”