MEWAT – Amid a controversy over the name of Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer killed by a group of cow vigilantes in Rajasthan in 2017, in a chargesheet, his son on Saturday said his hopes of justice from the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government were dashed.
“We had a hope from the Congress government that they will help us in getting justice but all our struggle went in vain,” Irsad was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “We were hoping that we will get justice now. They killed our father in front of our eyes but now they are torturing us as some of us are the eye-witnesses in the case,” he said.
Pehlu Khan and his two sons, who were transporting cows that they had bought at a cattle fair in state capital Jaipur to their home in Haryana when they were attacked by a mob, were accused of transporting the animals without permission.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot defended his government, saying that Pehlu Khan was not indicted. “The case was investigated in the past, under the BJP government, and chargesheet was filed. If any discrepancies are found in the investigation, the case will be re-investigated,” Mr Gehlot said, squarely blaming the previous administration.
He also tweeted that Pehlu Khan wasn’t indicted but “will see if investigation was done with predetermined intentions”. A copy of the chargesheet seen by NDTV described Pehlu Khan as a “deceased accused”.
Talking about the investigation in the case, Irsad said that he was not satisfied with the progress in the probe.
“We were coming back from Jaipur with cows. We had valid papers with us but the cow vigilantes did not listen to us and tore the documents. Now, after two-and-a half years, they have filed a chargesheet against us. They released six accused, who were named by my father. How can we be satisfied with the investigation,” he asked.
Pehlu Khan and his sons were stopped on the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway by cow vigilantes and were severely beaten up. A cellphone video showed Pehlu Khan being yanked by the neck, thrown to the ground and kicked. Mr Khan died in hospital two days later.
Two First Information Reports (FIRs) were filed in the case – one was against eight people who allegedly lynched the dairy farmer, and the other was against him and his sons for transporting cattle allegedly without the district collector’s permission.
The latest chargesheet was filed by the Rajasthan government in the second FIR. Pehlu Khan cannot be prosecuted as he died, but it will continue against his sons – much to the chagrin of rights activists.
The chargesheet accuses Pehlu Khan of wrongdoing under multiple sections of a Rajasthan law that seeks to protect cattle slaughter and smuggling.
Eight men accused of beating him to death are out on bail and two of them are untraceable.