Congress Under Fire As Rajasthan Govt Charge Sheet Lynching Victim Pehlu Khan’s Kin

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Anguri Begum, mother of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan along with her family members stage a sit-in demonstration to demand justice for him in New Delhi, on April 19, 2017. — IANS

Political and social groups ask Congress President Rahul Gandhi to explain his party’s stand on the mob-lynching menace

Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI — Congress-led Rajasthan government on Monday came under sharp criticism on the charge sheet filed against mob-lynching victim Pehlu Khan’s sons with the political and social groups asking Congress President Rahul Gandhi to explain his party’s stand on mob-lynching menace which has now blown to gargantuan proportions.

They said Congress cannot revive by playing soft Hindutva or soft secularism as it must take a firm stand on the issue of  Hindutva communalism.

Welfare Party of India has condemned the Rajasthan police for framing the victims as accused in the mob-lynching case. The charge sheet proves that there was no change of government in Rajasthan as BJP and Congress are two sides of the same coin, Dr SQR Ilyas, president of Welfare Party said while speaking to Caravan Daily.

The Congress must clear its stand on Hindutva and secularism and desist from appeasing the right-wing constituency for the sake of vote, he demanded.  Asserting that whatever seats won by the Congress in the recent elections is because of Muslim votes, Dr Ilyas warned the grand old party that it should not make a mistake of taking Muslims for granted.

Echoing his view, Social Democratic Party of India also said the Rajasthan government should withdraw the names of slain dairy farmer Pehlu Khan’s sons from the charge sheet.

Speaking to Caravan Daily, SDPI president M K Faizy said hardly a month passed since the Modi government returned to power, as many as 13 mob-lynching incidents have taken place. It is deplorable that Congress is also adopting lenient attitude towards the perpetrators of such heinous crime, he added.

The state Chief Minister Ashok  Ghelot should  order re-investigation of the case as in the previous government of BJP, the state police tried to save the real perpetrators of the crime, Faizy said.

Calling the charge sheet as the vindictive step, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), a joint platform of dozens of workers and peasants organizations, has strongly condemned the Congress government of the state.

AIKS general secretary and former MP Hannan Mollah, while speaking to Caravan Daily, said, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi should explain party’s position on “hate” politics against Muslims in the name of the cow.    He demanded that the Gehlot government should reinvestigate the Pehlu Khan’s murder case, book the real culprits and provide Rs. 1 crore as compensation to the kin of Pehlu Khan as a message against such hate crimes.

It was expected that the new state government in Rajasthan led by Congress will reinvestigate the case and ensure justice by arresting the real culprits and ensuring strong deterrent punishment as per law but the Gehlot government is trying to further victimise the kin of Pehlu Khan, the former MP said.

Pehlu Khan’s son Irshad Khan also slammed the Rajasthan Police for filing a charge sheet against him and his brother Arif Khan who were also beaten up by the so-called cow vigilantes and snatched their cattle and cash. 24-year-old Irshad said that the police are putting the blame on them even as the accused roam free and pointed out at several loopholes in the police investigation.

The Rajasthan Police charge sheet alleges cow smuggling but it was a clear case of a dairy farmer purchasing cows and calves from Jaipur cattle fair and they were in possession of records from Municipal authorities. The Police and administration under then BJP led state government had taken vindictive measures against the family since they were Muslims. The farmers belonging to the Muslim community in Mewat region traditionally depends on cattle rearing for their livelihood. However, Pehlu Khan was lynched in 2017 by a mob of so-called ‘gau-rakshaks’ in Alwar, Rajasthan.

Referring to Jharkhand incident, AIKS leader Mollah said after Narendra Modi got re-elected as Prime Minister, inhuman acts of lynching and mob crimes against Muslims have been reported from different parts of the country.

Instead of fighting these anti-national crimes by fanatic communal elements backed by RSS-BJP,  the Congress is also trying to appease communal forces by taking unlawful maneuvering as in Pehlu Khan’s case, which will surely harm it, he warned.

AIKS has been at the forefront in fighting the mob-lynching cases across the country which had also provided monetary help to the family of Pehlu Khan. Demanding Rs 1 crore compensation to the kin of Phelu Khan, he said  AIKS will submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister in this regard.

He also warned that if the Rajasthan government does not withdraw the manipulated charge sheet and provide justice to the victims, AIKS along with other peasant organisations will launch intensive movement across the state.

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