4-year RI for 12 in Rajnagar lynching

A Seraikela-Kharsawan district court on Monday held 12 people guilty of lynching four persons in Rajnagar block last year and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for four years.

By Our Special Correspondent in Jamshedpur
  • Published 17.07.18
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A charred car at Shobhapur village in Rajnagar, Seraikela-Kharsawan, after the lynching in May last year

Jamshedpur: A Seraikela-Kharsawan district court on Monday held 12 people guilty of lynching four persons in Rajnagar block last year and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for four years.

The court also slapped a penalty of Rs 2,000 on each of the convicts.

Sheikh Halim (28), Sheikh Sajju (25) and Sheikh Siraj (26) of Haldipokhar and Sheikh Naim (35) of Phulpal, all in Ghatshila subdivision of East Singhbhum district, were beaten to death in neighbouring Rajnagar on May 18, 2017, on the suspicion of being child lifters.

Naim was lynched in Shobhapur village while Sajju and Siraj were chased and killed in nearby Shoshomauli. Halim faced mob wrath near Dangodungri forest.

Police probe revealed that the ' bachha chor' cry was a pretext to target cattle traders who were suspected to be selling prohibited meat in Adityapur and Jamshedpur.

The 12 accused convicted in the case are Krishna Sahu, Bhagirathi Jyotishi, Kunda Jyotishi, Falguni Jyotishi, Tarun Jyotishi, Arun Jyotishi, Krishna Jyotishi, Chaturbhuj Sahu, Kanhu Jyotishi, Bada Kanhu Jyotishi, Sitaram Sahu and Balbhadra Behra.

The court has also acquitted three - Laxmikanth Behra, Agasti Sahu and Pankaj Sahu - for want of evidence.

Child-lifting rumours circulated over WhatsApp, which exhorted mobs to attack strangers, were rife in 2017 summer across the state.

However, May 18 was a fateful day for Jharkhand's lynch map. Hours after the four cattle traders were beaten to death in Rajnagar, three Hindu youths - two brothers and a friend - were lynched by 2,000 people before five policemen in Bagbera, 10km from the heart of the steel city in East Singhbhum, also over child-lifting suspicions.