Latehar lynching: Court convicts 8 for killing two Muslim cattle traders

RANCHI: A Jharkhand court on Wednesday, 19 December held eight men guilty of killing two Muslim cattle traders, one of whom is a teenager in the Latehar district, Hindustan Times reported.

Following the lynching, five out of eight accused were arrested within 24 hours and three absconding surrendered later. Later all the eight accused were released on bail.

Judicial magistrate Rishikesh Kumar hearing the case sent the eight convicts, Mithilesh Prasad Sahu, Pramod Kumar Sahu, Manoj Kumar Sahu, Awadhesh Sahu, Manoj Sahu, Arun Sao, Vishal Tiwary, and Shahdev Soni, to jail.

The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Thursday, December 20.

Earlier in March 2016, Mazlum Ansari (32) and 13-year-old Imteyaz Khan were beaten to a pulp by a gang of so-called cow vigilantes and then hanged from a tree in Latehar while they were on their way taking eight oxen on foot to a cattle fair, according to the deceased families.

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Azad Khan (Imtiaz’s father) who upon hearing his son’s screams, rushed in the direction of his voice only to watched in horror.

The gory images of Ansari and Imtiaz hanged from a tree have still not faded from public memory.

Ansari and Khan’s killing was popularly referred to as the “Latehar Lynching“, was the first case of “cow-vigilantism” in Jharkhand.

The mob lynching in Latehar triggered a series of violent hate crimes across the state, as the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), was criticised for its inaction where several Muslims fell prey to cow vigilantism.