Pehlu Khan’s kin refutes cow smuggling charge, demand justice
Pehlu’s uncle Husain Khan was reacting to Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria’s statement terming the dairy farmer a cow smuggler. Kataria had also claimed that that there were several cases registered against Pehlu.jaipur Updated: Jul 14, 2017 18:30 IST
If Pehlu Khan was transporting cows illegally, he should have been handed over to the police and not beaten up by a mob mercilessly, a relative of the dairy farmer, who died of injuries sustained in a brutal thrashing by cow vigilantes, said Tuesday.
Pehlu’s uncle Husain Khan was reacting to Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria’s statement terming the dairy farmer a cow smuggler. Kataria had also claimed that that there were several cases registered against Pehlu.
“I am not aware of any case of cow smuggling against Pehlu or his sons. We have never received a court notice in this regard. Why would he smuggle milch cows and calves to slaughter houses and that too in an open loading vehicle on a highway? He had come to the cattle fair to buy buffalo but bought the cows as they were cheaper,” Husain Khan said.
“The accused were heard discussing taking out petrol from motorcycles and setting them afire, but the police arrived before they could do so,” he alleged. He said no one from the administration or ruling party has visited them so far.
Pehlu, a dairy farmer from Nuh in Mewat district of Haryana was beaten up by a group of cow vigilantes at Behror in Alwar on April 1. Four others, including Pehlu’s two sons, were also assaulted. Pehlu succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital on April 3.
Dalit activist Jignesh Mewani warned of ‘rasta roko’ agitation if the Rajasthan government failed to ensure justice for Pehlu’s family. “We will take out a rally from Alwar to Ahmedabad on the first anniversary of Una episode in July,” he added.
Social activist and CPI (ML) politburo member Kavita Krishnan said that the people who beat up others in the name of cow protection should not be called vigilantes. “These people are murderers. They are not gau rakshaks (cow saviours) but nar bhakshaks (man eaters). Today, times are such that we need ‘insaan rakshaks’. We cannot rely on the government and police only but need to create awareness among the masses,” she said.
Earlier, addressing the gathering, Krishnan flayed Sadhvi Kamal Didi for comparing one of the accused to Bhagat Singh. “I have read writings of Bhagat Singh who was critical of the fact that in India there is a sacred animal and people kill each other in the name of that animal. It is shameful that Kamal Didi is using Bhagat Singh’s name,” she said. Krishnan also questioned the BJP’s “hypocrisy” on allowing sale and consumption of beef in some states but worshipping cow in other states.
Writer and activist Farah Naqvi appealed to the state and the central governments to take steps to put a stop to the killings in the name of cow. “Justice for Pehlu Khan, Azmat Khan and others is only first step. We all love cows, which is a symbol of Indian culture but some people have turned it into a symbol of hate,” she said. Naqvi also questioned the state government’s action of registering counter cases against the victims.