Alwar lynching: One cop says he didn’t touch victim, another claims he wasn’t present at spot
The claims by two of the suspended cops came on a day when Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said that evidence in Khan’s case suggested “it was a custodial death” and ordered a judicial probe into the incident that took place on July 21-22 night.jaipur Updated: Jul 25, 2018 11:56 IST
Two policemen have said they are innocent and “didn’t even touch” Rakbar Khan over allegations they along with two other colleagues beat the man and delayed taking him to a hospital after he was allegedly lynched by suspected cow vigilantes in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.
Khan, alias Akbar of Kol village in Haryana’s Nuh district, was allegedly beaten to death late on Friday on suspicion of smuggling bovines in Ramgarh’s Lalavandi forests in the district, where three people engaged in the cattle trade have been killed since April last year. Aslam Khan, who was with Rakbar at the time of the attack, escaped.
“I didn’t even touch him (Khan). Reality is that two accused — Dharmendra Yadav and Paramjeet Singh— had dragged Khan through the wet fields. He was roughed up and covered in mud. We (the police team) arranged for water to clean him,” Harendra Singh, one of the three constables sent to police lines in Alwar, said.
“After that, we started inquiring about the situation and then took him to the hospital. I don’t remember the exact time that took to reach the hospital,” Harendra added.
Police have come under fire from various quarters and accused of squandering over three hours by drinking tea and shuttling the cows to a bovine shelter before finally admitting Khan to a hospital.
Khan was declared dead on arrival by doctors at the Ramgarh community health centre.
Naval Kishore Sharma, a cattle rearer with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and an eyewitness to the incident, had alleged the policemen took Rakbar Khan to the police station first where “they beat him up leading to his death”.
Sharma was the first to inform the police about the attack on the two alleged cow smugglers.
Harendra, who said he was driving the police control room van, also questioned Sharma’s motive.
“I don’t understand why Nawal Kishore is coming out with different stories. On one hand, he says that he reached the police station directly from the gaushala and on the other, he claimed that we all stopped at Ramgarh around 3am. The reality is that Nawal Kishore had reached the spot directly. He didn’t come with us,” Harendra said.
He said Sharma was “doing this to save the two accused” because “they are the members of the same self-proclaimed cow protection group”.
Surendra Singh Yadav, the other constable, also said the allegations against him were false.
“I was not even present at the spot. At the time of the incident, I was on patrolling duty. I don’t know on what basis my name has been mentioned in the FIR,” Yadav said.
Sharma, however, stuck to his version saying that he was only speaking the truth.
“They are telling lies to defend themselves. I have given an honest description to save the innocent youngsters,” he said.
An assistant sub-inspector, Mohan Singh, was also suspended in the case.
Khan’s post-mortem examination has confirmed he died due to multiple internal injuries sustained from the severe beating, sources have said.
A four-member panel appointed to probe the circumstances surrounding the death of Khan admitted on Monday that there had been lapses on the part of the police. The state’s home minister Gulab Chand Kataria said that evidence in the case suggested that Khan died in police custody.
However, while police have owned up to their “mistakes”, the exact sequence of events that occurred on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday remains unclear due to differing narratives.
Three people have been arrested so far.
First Published: Jul 24, 2018 22:14 IST