Jaipur: The Rajasthan government has ordered a re-investigation into the Pehlu Khan lynching case, two days after a court in Alwar acquitted all the six accused after giving them the benefit of doubt.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had on Wednesday said the state government would appeal against the verdict delivered by the court of an additional district judge.
Khan, a 55-year-old native of Haryana’s Nuh, had left his village to purchase cattle in order to increase milk produce for Ramzan. Surrounded by a mob of cow vigilantes on the Delhi-Alwar highway on April 1, 2017, he tried to save himself by showing his purchase receipts, but was beaten to death with rods and sticks.
The six accused let off by the court are Vipin Yadav, Ravindra Kumar, Kaluram, Dayanand, Yogesh Kumar and Bheem Rathi. Three minors were also accused and they are facing a separate inquiry by a juvenile justice board.
The acquittal of the six accused was received with outrage and shock, despite mobile phones capturing the attack on the 55-year-old dairy farmer by vigilantes in detail. As Khan succumbed to his injuries, those videos went viral.
In the 92-page judgment, Additional District & Sessions Judge Sarita Swami had pointed to several lacunas in the police probe, finding among other things that the police did not properly seize the cell phones that had been used to record videos of the incident, did not submit the videos it did acquire to a forensic lab, did not get the witnesses to identify the accused.
The police also failed to correctly record Pehlu Khan’s dying declaration that would have had tremendous evidentiary value.