Raj cops seek court's nod to reopen Pehlu Khan case

Pehlu Khan's family (File Photo)

Rajasthan police has moved to the court to seek permission to reopen the investigation into the cow smuggling case against lynching victim Pehlu Khan’s two sons and the transporter.

Rajasthan police has moved to the Additional chief judicial magistrate court Behror, on the request of Pehlu Khan's two sons who are named in a chargesheet.

Alwar SP Paris Deshmukh said, "Pehlu’s two sons (Irshad and Arif) had requested the DGP Rajasthan to re-investigate the case, based on which police sought the court’s permission to probe into the matter".

Earlier, the counsel for the accused, Hukum Chand Sharma had accused the police of not probing into Pehlu’s murder.

The 55-year-old Pehlu Khan, a native of Nuh in Haryana, was beaten up while transporting cattle, allegedly by self-styled cow vigilantes near Behror in Rajasthan on the Delhi-Alwar highway on April 1, 2017. He succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital on April 3. He was accompanied by Azmat and Rafiq who were also thrashed.

Seven FIRs have been lodged in the Behror police station so far in the case. One was in connection with the lynching whereas six others were lodged for cattle smuggling. The sixth case under cattle smuggling was lodged on May 24 this year which held Pehlu Khan and his sons guilty of violating the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995.

In the case pertaining to Pehlu’s lynching, seven accused were arrested and two minors detained. The chargesheet against all nine accused was submitted in the additional district judge’s court in Behror on February 25 this year.

However, hours after the news of Pehlu Khan being charge-sheeted posthumously became viral on social media, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot took a defensive approach. He assured that his party was ideologically committed against any kind of lynching anywhere in the country.

"Our government is vigilant to ensure it will not happen again. News reported is factually incorrect. Name of late Pehlu Khan is not there in the chargesheet submitted by Rajasthan Police in December 2018. This is a separate case which was registered and investigated under previous government in 2017-18 against Arif, Irshad and Khan Mohd (Transporter), since the name of the accused was not present in the charge sheet at the time of the submission in December 2018, the district court accepted the challan on 24th May 2019. However, our government will see if the investigation was done with predetermined intentions," he clarified.

In 2018, the previous BJP government in the state had filed a similar chargesheet against two associates of Khan (Azmat and Rafiq), who were also attacked by a mob. There were two FIRs registered in the case. One was against the mob for beating Khan to death and second against him and his family for transporting cattle (cow) illegally out of the state.

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