The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said the acquittal of six accused in the Pehlu Khan lynching case vindicated their stand. The ruling Congress, however, said it will appeal against the verdict.
Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan assembly, Gulab Chand Kataria, said the previous BJP government had taken whatever action it could when the Pehlu Khan case took place. He said the BJP had acted correctly.
“But the matter was given a colour and raised in the entire country,” he said.
On politicisation of cow smuggling cases, he said, “The cow smuggling cases are not only against Muslim but against many Hindus. But they (Congress) tried to give it a communal colour as Pehlu Khan was a Muslim and BJP government was there in the state and the Centre, which was wrong. I have always said justice will happen.”
Defence lawyer Hukum Chand Sharma, too, called the Alwar court decision “historic” and a “slap on the face” of people who he said were doing politics over it.
The then BJP government in Rajasthan under Vasundhara Raje had come under flak over the killing, with the incident escalating the debate over attacks by cow vigilantes.
Rajasthan transport minister, Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, said, “I saw the video of Pehlu Khan’s death, people were beating him up… there cannot be bigger sin than this. A video was made, still the culprits got away. I believe that mob attacks are an insult to the Constitution. Someone has been killed, it’s a matter of probe how they got acquitted.”
“The court gave benefit of the doubt to all six accused and acquitted them of lynching charges. We have not received the court order copy and will wait for it to study it and appeal in the higher court,” Additional Public Prosecutor Yogendra Khatana told reporters in Alwar.
Additional chief secretary (home) Rajeeva Swaroop later confirmed that the state government had decided to file an appeal before the high court.
(With agency inputs)
Aug 15, 2019 00:45 IST