Will see if Pehlu Khan case probe had ‘predetermined intentions’: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot
Gehlot also said his government would see if the investigation had been done with predetermined intentions by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) administration.Updated: Jun 30, 2019 07:02 IST
Two years after Haryana resident Pehlu Khan was lynched by suspected cow vigilantes in Rajasthan’s Alwar district, the police have filed a charge sheet against two sons of his and a truck operator for illegally transporting cattle. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot and the police, however, denied media reports that Pehlu Khan himself had been named in the charge sheet
Gehlot also said his government would see if the investigation had been done with predetermined intentions by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) administration. If any discrepancies are detected in the probe , the case would be reinvestigated, he said.
Reports that Pehlu Khan had been named in the document triggered a brief row with All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi accusing the Congress party, which came to power in Rajasthan by ousting the BJP in December, of becoming a “replica of BJP”, which had been accused of promoting intolerance when it was in power in the state.
The case goes back to 2017 when the BJP was in power. Pehlu Khan and his sons were beaten by a mob on suspicion of smuggling cows in Alwar’s Behror on April 1, 2017. Khan died in an Alwar hospital on April 3.
The Rajasthan Police arrested seven men and detained two minors for the attack. At the same time, a case was also registered against Pehlu Khan and his companions under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal Act, which allows the transportation of cattle only with permission from the administration.
“The charge sheet was accepted by the court on May 24 against three persons under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal Act. Since Pehlu Khan has died, he has not been charge sheeted,” Alwar superintendent of police Anil Paris Deshmukh said.
The charge sheet was prepared on December 30, 2018 soon after the Congress came to power in the state. The charge sheet was presented before the additional chief judicial magistrate court in Behror on May 24.
Pehlu Khan’s name was mentioned in a summary of the case in the charge sheet, and he had been among those booked under the state’s anti-cow smuggling law. The document mentions his name in the column of the suspects who were “not charge sheeted”. It makes clear that this is because he is dead.
Police maintained that the case against Pehlu Khan, his sons Irshad Khan (25), Aarif Khan (22) and truck operator Khan Mohammad had been proven during the investigation.
“The allegations against Pehlu Khan and his sons, Irshad and Arif have been found to be true,” Deshmukh said.
In all, police had booked 16 people for illegally transporting 36 animals in six vehicles. They were on their way to Nuh district in Haryana from Jaipur when the suspected cow vigilantes stopped two of the vehicles in Behror on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway.
Amid the row over the charge sheet after reports that Pehlu Khan too had been charge sheeted, Gehlot wrote in a tweet:: “Name of late Pehlu Khan is not there in the chargesheet submitted by Rajasthan police.” He distanced his administration from the investigation.
“Investigation into the case was done during the BJP rule. If any discrepancy is found, we will get the case re-investigated,” he wrote.
“The Congress has not changed its stand on the issue,” he said, adding that those who kill people in the name of “gau raksha” (cow protection) wouldn’t be spared.
First Published: Jun 29, 2019 23:13 IST