Latehar lynching case: Jharkhand HC dismissed plea for convict’s suspension of sentence

Awadhesh Sao had been convicted in the lynching of a cattle trader and an 11-year-old boy

Latehar lynching case

The Jharkhand High Court has dismissed a suspension of sentence plea filed by Awadhesh Sao who had been among the eight people originally convicted in the infamous Latehar lynching case.

In December 2018, a Jharkhand court had convicted Manoj Kumar Sahu, Mithilesh Prasad Sahu, Pramod Kumar Sahu, Manoj Sao, Awadhesh Sao, Arun Sao, Sehdav Sao and Vishal Tiwari for lynching 32-year-old cattle trader Mazloom Ansari and his business partner’s 11-year-old son Imtiaz Khan. The duo had been mercilessly beaten and hung from a tree on March 18, 2016. The accused had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The assailants had allegedly previously threatened to kill Ansari if he did not stop trading in cattle. Though the local police had allegedly attempted to botch up the case by delaying the FIR, refusing to book the accused under more stringent charges and not recording confessions of the accused before a magistrate, the case was salvaged due to the testimony of eye-witnesses. 

Manowar Ansari (Mazloom’s younger brother) and Azad Khan (Imtiaz’s father) had watched in horror from a distance, hiding behind some bushes. Their testimony helped secure justice for the slain duo. 

Other powerful testimonies came from Imtiaz’s mother Najma Bibi who told the police that her son had given her the names of the eight accused and said they had been threatening him with murder if he did not stop his trade. Mazloom’s widow Saira Bibi also told the police how several men had visited their home a month and a half before the murder and openly threatened her husband. The names she gave matched those who were subsequently arrested. Saira’s father Naimuddin also named the eight accused as people who had previously threatened Mazloom.


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