In a first, Jharkhand court shows the way: 11 killer Gau Rakshaks get lifer

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It is heartening to go through a report published on March 15 that a fast track court at Ramgarh in Jharkhand sentenced 11 Gau Rakshaks including a BJP leader to life imprisonment for lynching a Muslim on the suspicion that he was carrying beef in his car. The incident occurred on June 29, 2017 when Alimuddin was beaten to death by the group of Gau Rakshaks on the pretext that he was possessing beef.

Never heard before in any government before the BJP came to power in 2014 that the cow vigilantes became so daring and aggressive to stop Muslims and Dalits who are carrying cattle to harass and torture them with law and order machinery playing spectator helplessly. From Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh and Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan, scores of incidents occurred wherein Muslims and Dalits were harassed and tortured and even killed. Even when police booked the cases no reports came in on further process of law. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the incidents and even called Gau Rakshaks anti-social elements. There was no impact on these anti-social elements. Then the Prime Minister asked the state government to curb the cow vigilantes. These incidents mostly took place in the BJP-ruled states and these states knew very well which directive of the Prime Minister should be taken seriously. Thus there is no halt to these violent occurrences.

This is for the first time that the culprits were held and prosecuted in a fast track court. The judge Om Prakash found them guilty under the provisions of rioting and murder and out of 12 one was acquitted and others were awarded life imprisonment. The prosecution pleaded for the capital punishment arguing that it was the rarest of the rare cases. This judgment has shown the way for other states where such incidents were reported.

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