New Delhi, Mar 21: A trial court in Jharkhand on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to 11 convicted in the Alimuddin Ansari lynching case. All the accused, including a BJP leader, were convicted on March 16. The accused were found guilty under IPC Section 302 (murder). Three of the accused were convicted under Section 120B (conspiracy).Also Read - NASA Launches 12-Year-Long Mission Lucy to Explore Solar System Origin, Trojan Asteroids. All You Need to Know

During the hearing, the prosecution lawyer had demanded maximum punishment for the accused. However, defence lawyers said they would challenge the conviction in the Jharkhand High Court. Also Read - Dani Alves Open to Camp Nou Return: "If Barcelona Need me, They Just Have to Call"

At least three of the convicts are members of a local cow protection committee. They were convicted of criminal conspiracy in addition to the other charges. It is believed that this was possibly the first case of cow vigilantism in the country in which the accused have been convicted. Also Read - Ban on Sale, Use of Firecrackers: How These States Take Strict Measures to Bring Air Pollution Under Control

On June 29 last year, Alimuddin alias Asgar Ansari was lynched to death near Bajartand village in Ramgarh for carrying the “banned meat” in a Maruti van. A group of people stopped him and brutally attacked him. They also set his van on fire. Police personnel rescued him and took him to a hospital where he died during the course of treatment.

Last year, a crackdown on slaughter houses was launched in many states. The demands by right-wing Hindu groups to stop the slaughter of cows stoked communal tensions. Most of the beef produced in India comes from buffalo rather than cow.