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Shobhapur lynching: Jharkhand court sentences 12 for attacking cops

A fast-track court in Jharkhand’s Saraikela has sentenced 12 people to four years’ rigorous imprisonment for obstructing and attacking a police team trying to save four men they allegedly lynched in the district in May 2017

india Updated: Jul 17, 2018 19:49 IST
Debashish Sarkar
Debashish Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Jamshedpur
Shobhapur lynching,Jharkhand,Jharkhand lynching
Members of All India Students Association (AISA) hold placards as they protest against the mob lynchings in the country, at Parliament street, in New Delhi, India, on Friday, June 22, 2018.(HT File Photo)

A fast-track court in Jharkhand’s Saraikela has sentenced 12 people to four years’ rigorous imprisonment for obstructing and attacking a police team trying to save four men they allegedly lynched in the district in May 2017.

Additional district and sessions judge Ashish Saxena sentenced Krishna Sahu, Bhagirath Jyotishi, Kunda Jyotishi, Falguni Jyotishi, Tarun Jyotishi, Arun Jyotishi, Krishna Jyotishi, Kanhu Jyotishi, Chaturbhuj Sahu, Sitaram Sahu, Bara Kanhu Jyotishi and Laltu Lohar on Monday.

He slapped a Rs 2,000 fine each on the convicts held guilty of “obstructing and assaulting government officials on duty, attacking with deadly weapons, trespassing into other’s house, disturbing law and order, breaking public peace’’etc. in Saraikela .

Laxmi Kant Behra, Agasti Sahu and Pankaj Kumar Nag were acquitted for the want of evidence.

The state government had handed over the case to the fast-track court for speedy trial given the nature of the crime.

The convicts were part of a mob that first lynched Haleem and Nayeem in Saraikela’s Shobhapur before killing Sajjad and Siraj Khan in Padnamsai, around 20 km away, in Sariakela-Kharsawan district over rumours of child lifters in the area on May 18, 2017. It attacked the house of a man identified as Murtaza Ansari where the four had taken refuge, as well as the police party that had rushed to save them. A police vehicle was also torched.

A probe by Kolhan commissioner Pradeep Kumar and deputy inspector general Prabhat Kumar had found that the four dead men were suspected to be involved in illegal cattle smuggling and did not stop their car when villagers, panicked by child lifting rumours, asked them to stop. The probe found this led to the lynchings.

Deputy inspector general of police (Kolhan) Kuldeep Dwivedi praised the job done by Superintendent of police Chandan Sinha’s Saraikela-Kharsawan team in producing enough evidence to help the court convict the 12.

“The case related to lynching deaths is under progress in Saraikela court and we are confident of the conviction in that as well. We will consider rewarding the police probe team once we get the court order,” he said.

The conviction of the 12 came a day before the Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a new anti-lynching law and put the onus on the Centre and states to curb “mobocracy”.

A fast-track court in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district had in March sentenced 11 cow vigilantes to life imprisonment in a record six months for lynching a 55-year-old trader, Alimuddin. The Jharkhand high court last month granted bail to eight of the convicts.

First Published: Jul 17, 2018 19:43 IST