Police gave contradictory statements: Pehlu Khan’s kin
Family members of Pehlu Khan, their lawyer and activists have accused the police of giving contradictory statements in court with regard to the mobile video clips that purportedly captured the dairy farmer being attacked by a mob in Rajasthan’s Alwar district on April 1, 2017. They also alleged that the investigators did not produce the seized mobile phone in court.
HT has reported that two video clips that captured the mob attack on Khan were cleared as genuine by a government forensic lab, but contradictory statements by investigating officers undercut their authenticity and prevented them from being treated as key evidence.
Last week, an Alwar court had let off all the six men accused of lynching Pehlu Khan on the benefit of doubt, following which the state government instituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the alleged police lapses in the case.
Khan’s son Irshad said the police should have seized the phone immediately. “As soon as the police saw the video, they should have seized the mobile phone. The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report of the video and mobile should have been submitted in the court before filing the charge sheet which is a blunder by the investigators and because of which the court didn’t rule in our favour.”
While the mobile phone used in filming the video was seized by the police in April 2017, it was sent to the FSL on January 11, 2018. “I request that in the re-investigation, the video should be considered,” Irshad said. The family is planning to move the high court against the Alwar court’s order.
Citing the FSL report, Qasim Khan, the lawyer representing Khan’s family, said the videos were uninterrupted and they would put this point in front of the high court. “There would be many grounds in the appeal which we would be filing in the High Court. And the FSL report and non-submission of phone would be an important aspect of the case. Had the police submitted the seized phone in the court, then definitely the court would have considered it,” said Khan.
Advocate Akhil Chaudhary, who is also a member of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, a rights group, said, ideally, the police should have filed the charge sheet along with the FSL report on the videos but they didn’t do so.”He added that since the appeal against the acquittal is considered to be continuation of the trial.