Alwar lynching: Rajasthan minister backs police clean chit to six people
Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said the police must have come to the conclusion ‘on the basis of evidence and witnesses in front of them’.india Updated: Sep 14, 2017 22:17 IST
Rajasthan’s home minister, Gulab Chand Kataria, defended on Thursday the clean chit given by the state police to the six people who had been named by Haryana dairy farmer Pehlu Khan before he died of injuries sustained in an attack by cow vigilantes.
HT managed to catch up with one of the six, who said truth always prevails.
A day after HT reported that the CID-CB of Rajasthan police had completed its investigation into the Alwar lynching case, and found that the six people named in Khan’s statement to police in the ICU of a hospital were not involved in the attack, Kataria backed the police.
“They must have concluded this on the basis of evidences and witnesses before them. I will not say anything on their findings,” he said.
Meanwhile, head of CID-CB Pankaj Kumar Singh said the crime branch did a detailed investigation and found that six people named in the FIR were not involved in the attack on Khan.
“Khan named eight people; we found two of them were involved in the attack. The other six were not present at the site of attack,” he claimed.
HT spoke to Om Yadav, one of the six people, shortly after he learned that his name would soon be struck off the FIR.
“I got the good news this morning,” he said. “My family, relatives and I suffered a lot for close to six months but truth prevailed.”
April 3: Pehlu Khan passes away in hospital.April 5: On the basis of the video recording, the police arrested three (other than six named in FIR) allegedly involved in the attack.
April 5: Police announce a reward of ₹5,000 on the six named by Khan.
April 8: Police arrest two more accused in connection with Pehlu Khan’s death.
April 16: Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria ‘justified’ the attack and said both parties were to be blamed for Pehlu Khan’s death.
April 18: Deceased Pehlu Khan’s uncle Hussain Khan threatens to commit suicide along with his family if they are denied justice.
April 21: Controversial Hindu leader Sadhvi Kamal ‘Didi’ compares an accused in the case with freedom fighters such as Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad.
April 23: 23 former IAS officers write an open letter to Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje demanding the arrest of those involved in Khan’s death.
April 24-26: Civil society members, along with Pehlu Khan’s family, stage a two-day dharna in Jaipur demanding justice.
July: Case transferred to Crime Investigation Department- Crime Branch (CID-CB). Investigating officer changed for fourth time.
July 12: Ravindra, one of the seven arrested on the basis of video footage, granted bail.
August 9: Kaluram, another accused, gets bail.
August 31: Third accused, Vipin Yadav, gets bail.
September 1: CID-CB sends probe report to Alwar police, giving clean chit to all six named accused, who till now were absconding. It charges nine for the murder.
2. Naveen Sharma (48) – Teacher in the same college.
3. Jagmal Yadav (73) – Retired government teacher from Haryana and has been working for cow protection in Behror for many years. He was the patron of the Rath cow shelter at Dahmi village near Alwar.
4. Om Yadav (45) – Owns around 10 shops on the highway, his wife is a councillor in Behror municipality.
5. Rahul Saini (24) – He is a student
6. Sudhir Yadav (45) —He is a property dealer
Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot said, “...even the chief minister assured justice but according to the family of Khan this does not look like justice”.
Another Congress leader, Shehzad Poonawalla from Maharashtra, tweeted: “We will take up Pehlu Khan case before SC which is hearing our Gau Raksha PIL on 22nd September and seek justice too.”
In Jaipur for a convention by the Opposition parties, JD(U) leader Ali Anwar Ansari and CP-M leader Sitaram Yechury also reacted to the development.
“Pehlu Khan named six people in his FIR; now efforts are being made to remove them, sidelining the report of intelligence bureau,” Anwar said at the convention.
Yechury said: “It seems no one killed Pehlu khan, or maybe he did not die.”
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah too spoke out against the clean chit. “How foolish to expect anyone would be found guilty of murder! #PehluKhan committed suicide & staged the lynching to make a dramatic exit,” he wrote on Twitter.
Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Ashutosh, sharing a photograph of the HT story, alleged that the police are “saving criminals despite the dying declaration of Pehlu Khan”.