RANCHI: The family members of Alimuddin Ansari have never expected that on the day of deceased’s first death anniversary, Jharkhand High Court suspends the life sentence of eight out of 11 convicts, including a BJP functionary and grants them bail.
Justice SC Mishra and Justice BB Mangalmurty on Friday granted bail to Nityanand Mahto, a member of BJP’s Ramgarh unit, Santosh Singh, Vicky Saw, Sikandar Ram, Uttam Ram, Raju Kumar, Rohit Thakur, and Kapil Thakur serving life imprisonment in Hazaribag central jail on the grounds of having no substantial evidence against them.
The convicts had been found guilty for lynching a 55-year-old Muslim trader, Alimuddin alias Asgar Ali in the Bazaar Tand locality of Jharkhand ‘s Ramgarh town on June 29, 2017, on the suspicion that he was allegedly carrying beef in his car. The mob had also torched the vehicle of the victim.
Incidentally, the Fast Track Court Additional District Judge II Om Prakash on 16th March this year convicted 11 accused for lynching Alimuddin on 29th June 2017.
Defense counsel BM Tripathy representing the convicted persons said the conviction was done only on the basis of video footage.
“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,” Tripathy said, reported Hindustan Times.
In the last four years, dozens of innocents lives have been lost because of lynching in different states on suspicion of carrying beef, cow slaughter, cattle theft or child-lifting.