Alwar lynching victim's son, witnesses attacked

Pehlu's son Irshad. (DH photo)

The witnesses and sons of Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer who was lynched in 2017, were attacked by unknown men on NH-248 in the Mewat region of Rajasthan on Saturday morning. The attack took place when they were en route to Behror to attend the hearing in Khan's murder case.

Apart from Pehlu's sons Irshad and Aarif, his lawyer Asad Hyatt was also in the car when the attack took place.

Khan's eldest son Irshad told DH, "We were travelling in one car. Just before reaching Behror, a black Scorpio tried to stop our car. As soon as we pulled down the windows, the men in the Scorpio abused us. Within no time they overtook the car and started firing upon us. The Scorpio was without a nameplate".

Aarif, Khan's second son, added, "Instead of going to Behror we took another route to reach Alwar and met police officials there. We got scared as they were following us." Khan's son's and witnesses were travelling from Jaisinghpur village (Nuh) to Behror, which is about 100 km away.

"Since the case has been transferred to Behror from Alwar, things are not going in the direction. We have lost faith in Behror police after they gave a clean chit to the six witnesses named in the FIR. It's our demand that case should be shifted to Alwar instead of Behror", Arif said.

Police protection

Meanwhile, social activists have condemned the attack and sought police protection for the family and witnesses. "Security should be provided urgently to the witnesses. Police protection should be given from Haryana itself, right up to the court and back. It is important that witnesses are not only given protection but are able to fearlessly speak out what they saw that day as part of their deposition to the court," Kavita Srivastava, general secretary of People's Union for Civil Liberties, told DH.

Moreover, activists have also demanded to shift the trial outside Behror.
"Trial should be shifted to Jaipur, Alwar or even to Delhi as was done in some of the Gujarat 2002 cases when the trial was shifted to Mumbai", Srivastava added.

Alwar SP Rajendra Singh said, "We heard about the incident from a group of activists. We are looking into the matter".

Khan, a 55-year-old dairy farmer was beaten to death by an angry mob of cow vigilantes in Alwar's Nuh area on April 1, 2017, when on their way to Haryana after purchasing cattle in Rajasthan. He was accompanied by Azmat and Rafiq, who were also thrashed.

Azmat and Rafiq are now the witnesses so is Irshad was accompanying his father to buy a milch buffalo to increase milk production during Ramzan.

 

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