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All 6 accused in Pehlu Khan lynching case acquitted, court gives them benefit of doubt

In September 2017, six persons of the total 15 arrested in connection with the incident, were given a clean chit by the Rajasthan police.

SNS | New Delhi |

Almost two years after the infamous Pehlu Khan lynching incident, the Alwar sessions court on Wednesday acquitted all six accused in the case, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

The judgement was announced in the court of Alwar additional district and session judge number-1, Dr Sarita Swami.

The hearing of the case ended on August 7 and nine people were held accused in the case which also included three minors who were out on bail.

The family of the victim had produced 44 witnesses.

Khan’s advocate Kasim Khan said the case has not been investigated properly and that the police produced a chargesheet under political pressure. “We shall study the judgement and will chalk out our strategy,” he said.

In April 2017, Pehlu Khan and four others were brutally assaulted by “gau rakshaks” on the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway while they were transporting cows they had bought in a Jaipur fair to their home in Haryana.

Khan succumbed to his injuries two days after the incident.

A video that was widely circulated in social media showed a group of men mercilessly assaulting Khan.

In September, the same year, six persons of the total 15 arrested in connection with the incident, were given a clean chit by the Rajasthan police.

It is learnt that the court was not satisfied with the video evidence.

The remaining three accused are minors and are being tried in a juvenile court.

The Rajasthan Police had in June this year, filed a chargesheet against the victim Pehlu Khan, his brother and sons in a cattle smuggling case.

The chargesheet accused Khan of transporting cattle from Rajasthan to Haryana allegedly without the permission of the district collector.

The police chargesheeted Khan’s sons Irsad (25) and Arif (22) under sections 5, 8 and 9 while charges have been framed against the deceased under section 6 of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995.

According to an ANI report, the chargesheet against Khan was prepared on December 30 last year, 13 days after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s government came into power in Rajasthan.

In 2018, the previous BJP government in the state had filed a similar charge sheet against two associates of Khan, who were also attacked by the mob.

However, Ashok Gehlot sought to clarify that the killed dairy farmer was not charged by his government.