Eight cow vigilantes who lynched Muslim trader in Jharkhand get bail
The Jharkhand high court on Friday granted bail to eight of 11 convicted cow vigilantes serving life imprisonment in Hazaribag central jail for lynching a 55-year-old Muslim trader, Alimuddin alias Asgar Ali.
A special fast track court in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district, in a record six-month time, on March 16 convicted 11 accused. Five days later, it sentenced them to life imprisonment.
The court held guilty all the accused under Section 302 (murder) and other offences of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). A mob of over 100 people, including Bajrang Dal activists, lynched Alimuddin at Bazartand in Ramgarh on June 29 last year.
A division bench on Friday granted bail to Nityanand Mahto (a local BJP leader), Santosh Singh, Vicky Saw, Sikandar Ram, Uttam Ram, Raju Kumar, Rohit Thakur, and Kapil Thakur.
The other three convicts — Chottu Verma, Deepak Mishra and Vikram Prasad — have not applied for bail. All have filed appeal petition in high court challenging their conviction.
“We have argued that during the trial, none of the eyewitnesses had identified the accused for lynching the victim. The lower court had held them guilty on the basis of a video footage. The video shows that the above convicts were standing in the mob but it doesn’t show them indulging in assault of the victim. The court can’t convict a person for murder for standing in the mob,” said senior advocate BM Tripathy, representing the convicted persons.