Ranchi: All the eight accused in the Latehar Lynching case, the first lynching case of Jharkhand, have got life imprisonment by a Latehar Court on Friday. A fine of Rs 25000 has been imposed on each of the accused for the brutal killing of the two victims, one of whom was 12-year-old boy.
On the morning of March 18, 2016, 35-year-old Mazloom Ansari and his partner’s son, Imtiaz Khan were on their way to sell their oxen in a village fair, which falls under Balumath police station. Here they were picked up by a group of cow vigilantes and taken to a nearby forest area, where they were first brutally beaten to death and later hanged from one of the forest trees.
Father of Imtiaz, Azad Khan and Nizamuddin were the first to have reached the spot along with some of the villagers. They lodged an FIR (42/2016) at Balumath police station.
“The FIR was lodged by Nizamuddin and Azad Khan, and around 10 witnesses were presented before the court in connection with this case. The court (Additional District and Sessions Judge Rasikesh Kumar) awarded life imprisonment to all the eight accused under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Rs 25000 also fine on each of them,” said Public Prosecutor, Balram Shah to the media, outside Latehar court. Abdul Salam was the informant lawyer in the case.
Two days back, on December 19, court had convicted the eight accused.
The names of the killers who will serve life term imprisonment are Arun Sahu, Manoj Sahu, Vishal Tiwari, Mithilesh Kumar, Sahdeo Soni, Pramod Sahu, Avdhesh Sahu and Manoj Kumar. All of them are residents of Jhabar village, under Balumath police station.
Tight security arrangements had been made in the court area before the judgment was given. According to locals heavy police deployment had been made Jhabar and Nawada villages too, as the families of the killers and deceased belong to these areas.
It is only the second case of lynching, in India where a judgment has been delivered since 2015, when Akhlaque Ahmed was lynched over beef eating allegation. The first verdict came in the lynching case of Alimuddin Ansari, a resident of Ramgarh, Jharkhand. This year in March, 11 killers were sentenced for life by a Ramgarh court. However, all of them are out on bail. And Union Minister Jayant Sinha had also garlanded them when they were granted bail. Following which, he had been criticized nationally.
In July this year, wife of Mazloom Ansari, Saira Bibi had told that the killing of her husband and 12-year-old Imtiaz was a planned one as killers had threatened her husband twice. And once they had even threatened Mazloom in their residence. Following which, Mazloom and his partners, who used to buy oxen from one village fair and sell it out at other, had decided to leave the trade. It was the last time that they had gone to sell, the already purchased animals when they were picked by the killers and brutally killed.
After the judgment, Saira told eNewsroom over phone, “We had lost hope that we will get justice, but we are happy to hear this. The family of the killers should face the situation, which my children and I are facing after the murder of my husband.”
She also thanked the support of several unknown people because of whom the case reached to conclusion.
“We are very poor people and we could not fight the killers, but because of the support of people, it happened today,” she added.
However, despite welcoming the verdict, brother of Mazloom Ansari, Manauwar fears that the killers might get bail from High Court. “We are satisfied with the judgment, but because of what happened in the Ramgarh case, we fear that they can also get bail from High Court,” said Manuwar to eNewsroom.