Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said on Sunday that a fresh probe into the Pehlu Khan lynching case will be initiated, alleging that negligence by the former BJP government led to the acquittal of the accused.
On April 1 in 2017, Khan, a 55-year-old dairy farmer from Haryana’s Nuh, was beaten up allegedly by cow vigilantes near Behror in Rajasthan on the Delhi-Alwar highway. He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital two days later.
“The Pehlu Khan case shook the country. The negligence by the earlier government cannot be imagined, that is why accused were given the benefit of doubt by the court and were acquitted. Our government has constituted a SIT to remove the shortcomings in the case,” Gehlot said at a press conference in Jaipur.
A court in Alwar on Wednesday acquitted all six men accused of lynching Pehlu Khan on the benefit of doubt.
Soon after the verdict, the Rajasthan government announced that it will challenge the order in a higher court.
On Friday, the government also appointed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case and examine the previous investigation to find the lapses, if any, which had led to the acquittal of the six accused by a Sessions Court in Alwar earlier this week.
Gehlot announced the formation of a Heinous Crime Monitoring Unit to investigate sensational crimes in a speedy way. The unit will function under the supervision of ADG (crime) and help in effective pursuance of such cases in court.
“The in-charge will be an IG rank officer with one DIG and two SP rank officers, and two law officers. Further in every range and police commissionerate, one additional SP will be part of this unit,” said Gehlot.
“We can feel the pain a family goes through whose member got killed by mob. Mob lynching is a taint on humanity,” he said.
“The government has made a strict law against this to ensure that none of our citizens suffer from this. Rajasthan is the second state after Manipur to make a law against mob-lynching, which will be implemented strictly.”
Gehlot said the previous BJP government in the state had changed the Pehlu Khan case investigation thrice, which led to benefit of doubt. “The camera by which the incident shot was not seized; identification parade was not held and call details of the accused were collected showing their presence on the incident spot but certificate was not taken by officials,” he said. “They intentionally left shortcomings in the case to protect. Our government will ensure that such things do not happen in future and people get justice.”
BJP spokesperson Mukesh Pareek said, “Gehlot tries to take political advantage out of every issue. He knows that such issues are probed by police, which is independent. Every government wants that such incidents do not happen. Such attitude of CM smacks of vote bank politics aimed at wooing a community.”
Aug 19, 2019 00:38 IST