New Delhi: A day after Rajasthan police gave a clean chit to six people accused of lynching dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in April, Khan's family demanded that the case be shifted to Delhi or Haryana.
Addressing a press conference at Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's house in Delhi on Friday, Khan’s elder son Irshad said his family was facing threats at the local court in Behror, Rajasthan.
“We have been getting threats and are being pressured to drop the case. Besides, we have seen how Rajasthan police is acting under pressure. The six people who have been given a clean chit by the cops are the very same people who killed my father,” Irshad, who is also an eyewitness in the case, said.
The 24-year-old further said that they have lost faith in the police and in Rajasthan government. “We will now approach the Supreme Court and request them to shift the case to either Delhi or Haryana. We cannot continue going to Rajasthan,” he said.
Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer from Nuh in Haryana, was attacked by cow vigilantes near Behror in Alwar district on April 1 while he was coming back from a cattle fair in Jaipur. He had succumbed to his injuries later.
Irshad said that his father had named the men who attacked him in his dying declaration. “Why would a dying man lie?” he asked.
“Not only has the entire police investigation been compromised, the cops are telling outright lies. When the men were assaulting us, they were referring to each other by name. We carefully heard their names and my father told that to the cops," he added.
Digvijaya Singh, meanwhile, accused the BJP government in Rajasthan of trying to cover up the case. “The BJP government is trying to protect the accused and is denying justice to the victims. This has become a pattern across India where the victims are left hapless and the accused, mostly with links from Sangh Parivar and affiliated groups, are protected. Look at the trend in almost every case,” he said.
“It is utterly shameful that the police under Vasundhara Raje government has given a clean chit to those named by Pehlu Khan. Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria accused Khan's family of being cattle smugglers, when they were dairy farmers with all the papers and documents in place,” he said.
He said that local courts had also cleared the Khan family of such baseless allegations that were thrown around with the intention to shift the blame on the victim.
“Such justifications were given in Akhlaq's case in Dadri too,” the Congress leader said.
Activist Tehseen Poonawalla, who has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking regulation of cow vigilante groups, said he would also apprise the apex court of the “massive cover-up in the Pehlu Khan case.”
“The SC in has issued notices to the Centre and six state governments, including Rajasthan, and has also asked for strict action on cow vigilantism. The court has also ordered the appointment of senior police officers as nodal officers in every district to crackdown on such cases," he said.