Landmark ruling imposes life term on 10 accused in mob lynching case, recognising religious motive and calling for police accountability.

Student activists stage a protest against the Hapur lynching incident at Parliament Street, in New Delhi in June 2018. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma


Nearly six years after a horrific mob lynching in Hapur district, Uttar Pradesh (UP), a district court has delivered a significant verdict. On Tuesday, the 10 accused were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal attack on Qasim (45), a cattle trader, and Samaydeen (62).

The incident, which occurred on June 18, 2018, in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur, stemmed from unsubstantiated rumours of cow slaughter. A mob then cornered Qasim and beat him to death. A bystander, Samaydeen, who attempted to intervene, was also severely injured. Gruesome video footage of the attack emerged, sparking outrage.

Qasim, who supported himself by selling goats in nearby markets and villages, joined the growing numbers of victims of hate crimes linked to cow slaughter that began with the infamous Dadri incident in 2015, also in UP, when Mohammad Akhlaque, was lynched over false rumors of storing beef in his home.

Qasim was lynched one year after the Bharatiya Janata Party assumed power in UP. One of its election messages was to amplify support for cow protectionism and vigilantism.

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