Nearly two years after 50-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched in Dadri over suspicion of consuming beef, 15 of the 19 accused are out on bail, while charges are yet to be framed against them in a trial court. On Monday, the prime accused in the lynching case, Vishal Rana, the son of local BJP leader Sanjay Rana, was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court.
Granting bail to Rana, Justice Pratyush Kumar directed him to appear before the trial court for hearing in the case. “The applicant shall file an undertaking to the effect that he shall not seek any adjournment on the dates fixed for evidence, if the witnesses are present in court. In case of default of this condition, it shall be open for trial court to treat it as abuse of liberty of bail,” the Allahabad High Court directed.
In the last four months, 12 accused have been granted bail by the HC, including Shivam and Vishal, two prime accused who are both related to Sanjay Rana. Three juveniles accused in the case had been released last year.
According to Ram Saran Nagar, legal counsel for a section of the accused, charges against them are yet to be framed: “After yesterday’s HC order, only three accused — Shri Om, Vivek and Rupendra — are still in prison. All others have been granted bail. The next date of hearing has been fixed for August 9.”
On October 4 last year, Ravin Sisodia, one of the accused, died in Delhi’s LNJP Hospital after “multi-organ failure”. His family and some Bisara residents had refused to cremate his body till their demands, which included the arrest of Akhlaq’s brother for alleged cow slaughter, were met.
Akhlaq was killed on the night of September 28, 2015, when a mob dragged him out of his house. The incident took place after an announcement was made from a local temple in Bisara, asking people to gather since a cow had allegedly been slaughtered.