Rajasthan high court grants bail to second accused in Rakbar lynching case
The Rajasthan high court on Tuesday granted bail to the second accused in the 2018 Rakbar Khan lynching case in Alwar, the special public prosecutor for lynching cases in the state said Wednesday.
There are four accused in the case; the bail application of the remaining two is likely to be heard by the court on Friday. The trial in the case will resume in Alwar court on June 1.
Rakbar Khan, 28, of Kol village in Haryana’s Nuh district was allegedly beaten by local villagers in Lalavandi village of Rajasthan’s Alwar district on July 21, 2018, while he and another man named Aslam Khan were taking two cows bought from Ladpura village. The villagers suspected them to be cow smugglers. Rakbar was declared dead when taken to government hospital by police. Aslam Khan managed to escape.
Police arrested three people – Paramjit Singh and Dharmendra Yadav and Naresh Kumar – on charges of unlawful assembly, wrongful restraint, voluntarily causing hurt and murder the next day (July 22, 2018). The charge sheet against them was filed on September 7, 2018. The fourth accused, Vijay Moortikar, was arrested on August 22, 2019, and charges were framed against him on September 13, 2019.
After facing flak for sloppy investigation into the Pehlu Khan lynching case that led to acquittal of all six accused, the Rajasthan government appointed Ashok Kumar Sharma as special public prosecutor for lynching cases in Alwar on the day the fourth accused was arrested.
The case against the four accused is under trial in an Alwar court. The first accused Paramjit Singh got bail from the high court on February 26 this year. Naresh Kumar is the second accused to get bail.
“The remaining two accused have also filed bail application in the high court. The date of hearing is May 29,” he said.
Sharma said the trial will resume on June 1. “The last hearing was on March 16. Due to the lockdown, the trial was put on hold and the next date of hearing is June 1,” he said.
Sharma said so far 24 prosecution witnesses have recorded their statements. “Statements of 32 more witnesses are to be recorded,” he added.
Rakbar’s counsel Kasim Khan said the new witnesses in the additional charge sheet may turn the case in his favour after the initial goof-up in police investigation.
A four-member committee headed by the then additional director general of police (law and order) NRK Reddy had found lapses by police in handling the case. “We found that there was some error in judgment. There was a time lapse of three hours, and the incident could have been avoided if the police had responded more efficiently,” Reddy had told HT after the probe concluded.
Assistant sub-inspector Mohan Singh was suspended, and three constables were transferred to the Alwar police lines after the probe report.