Civil rights groups have expressed outrage over the closure of investigation against six persons named in the FIR registered in the lynching of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan . The cattle rearer from Haryana was killed by a mob of cow vigilantes near Behror in Alwar district of Rajasthan on April 1 this year.
The case against the six persons was registered on the basis of Pehlu Khan’s dying declaration made to the police officers in a private hospital at Behror. The CID-CB of the State police has reportedly cleared the accused of all charges, while arriving at a conclusion that they were not present on the spot when the offence was committed.
Pehlu Khan, 55, and his two sons were transporting cows, after purchasing them in a cattle fair in Jaipur, to their hometown Nuh in Haryana, when they were waylaid on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway by a mob of self-styled cow vigilantes and beaten up. Pehlu Khan succumbed to his injuries after two days.
The CID-CB has concluded on the basis of the mobile phones’ call data records and the statements of employees of a gaushala, situated 4 km away from the crime scene, that no case was made out against the six accused. Police have since arrested half-a-dozen other persons on the basis of video footage of the incident, bust most of them have been released on bail.
The accused named in the FIR are Om Yadav, Hukum Chand Yadav, Sudhir Yadav, Jagmal Yadav, Naveen Sharma and Rahul Saini. According to the CID-CB’s report, no corroborative evidence has been found to prove that they were part of the crowd that had attacked Pehlu Khan.
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), which spearheaded a campaign for getting justice to the victims in the case, said the police were protecting the accused — all of whom were office-bearers of right-wing Hindutva groups — under pressure of the BJP government. “The CID-CB is under the direct control of the Home Minister. Its blatant bias is very obvious,” PUCL president Kavita Srivastava told The Hindu .
‘Will expose illegality’
Ms. Srivastava said the rights groups, along with Pehlu Khan’s sons, who were also complainants in the police case, would challenge the CID-CB’s closure of investigation in the court.
“The court will not allow closure without issuing notice to the complainants. We will expose the illegality of police action in the court.”
Rajasthan Muslim Forum secretary Mohammed Nazimuddin said the failure of police to bring the guilty to the book would encourage others to attack innocent persons with impunity. “The way the police have been trying to save the accused since the beginning [in this case] shows that no rule of law exists in Rajasthan,” he said.
The activists were also worried about safety of the participants in a “Karwan-e-Mohabbat” of Aman Biradari, which will be passing through Behror on Friday morning on way to Jaipur. Some right-wing groups have threatened that they would not allow the activists to enter the town and stop the march on the highway.