A Jharkhand court in Ramgarh district on Wednesday awarded life terms to 11 cow vigilantes, including a BJP leader, for allegedly lynching a Muslim trader after accusing him of transporting beef in 2017.
Special court judge Om Prakash had held all the 11 accused guilty under IPC Section 302 (murder) on March 16. The accused were also slapped with a fine of Rs 2,000 each.
The 11 convicts have been identified as Santosh Singh, Vikram Prasad, Raju Kumar, Rohit Thakur, Chottu Verma, Deepak Mishra, Vicky Saw, Sikandar Ram, Uttam Ram, Kapil Thakur and a BJP leader Nityanand Mahto.
The 11 were accused of murdering Alimuddin Ansari, a 55-year-old trader.
Additional public prosecutor Sushil Kumar Shukla said that Alamuddin's case was the first case of cow vigilantism in the country.
“The court is yet to decide on the defence counsel’s contention that the twelfth convict is a juvenile,” Shukla said.
The public prosecutor further added that they have opposed it on the grounds that his is over 16 years of age.
Defence Lawyer DN Singh told the media that they will file an appeal petition against the conviction in the state high court.
A mob of over 100 people, including BJP and Bajrang Dal activists, had lynched Ansari at Bazartand in Ramgarh on June 29, 2017. After killing the trader the mob had set his car on fire.