After facing embarrassment over a chargesheet filed in a court in Alwar district naming dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, allegedly lynched by cow vigilantes in 2017, as “an accused who [had] died”, the Rajasthan police have sought the court’s permission to further investigate the cow smuggling case against his two sons and owner of the pick-up truck.
According to the chargesheet filed on May 24, Pehlu Khan’s sons, Irshad and Aarif, and truck owner Khan Mohammed were accused of illegally transporting cows out of the State. In a fresh application filed in the court of Behror Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, the police have expressed their intent to further probe “certain aspects” of the case.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had tried to control the damage by declaring that the investigation was done by the previous BJP regime and his government would reinvestigate the case if any discrepancies were found. “Our government will see if the probe was done with predetermined intentions. The Congress is ideologically committed against any kind of lynching,” he had said.
The police will probe into the claims made by the accused that they were taking the cattle to Alwar district’s Tapukara village, contrary to earlier reports that the cows were being transported to their home town Nuh in Haryana. The truck owner has also claimed that he had sold the vehicle before the incident took place.
Pehlu Khan, 55, and his sons were transporting cows, after purchasing them at a cattle fair in Jaipur on April 1, 2017, when they were waylaid near Behror on the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway by a mob of self-styled cow vigilantes and beaten up. Pehlu Khan succumbed to his injuries in a hospital after two days.
A case was registered against Pehlu Khan, his sons and others on April 2, accusing them of transporting cows out of the State without getting a valid permit from the competent authority under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act. The police had seized six vehicles with 36 bovine animals during the incident.