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My son is not a cow smuggler, says father of Alwar lynching victim

Father of Rakbar Khan, who was beaten to death by alleged cow vigilantes in Alwar, said his son had left home on Friday morning to take goats for grazing

jaipur Updated: Jul 22, 2018 10:30 IST
Jaykishan Sharma
Jaykishan Sharma
Hindustan Times, Alwar
Lynching,Cow vigilantes,gau rakshak
Sulaiman Khan, father of deceased Rakbar Khan, at the Alwar government hospital on Saturday. (HT Photo)

It was well past midnight at Lalawandi village, when Rakbar Khan and one Aslam was passing through with two cows were spotted by the accused Dharmendra Yadav and his friends, who were allegedly consuming liquor, according to a local villager.

Yadav and his friends allegedly attacked the duo suspecting them to be cow smugglers as villagers believed that some such gangs were active in the region. Khan, who died on his way to a hospital, was found unconscious in a muddy field owned by Yadav, one of the two persons arrested on Saturday.

“The farm in which incident took place belongs to Dharmendra Yadav,” said an elderly village man, who requested anonymity, saying revealing his name could result in enmity with family of the accused, who are village strongmen.

Narrating what had happened last night, the villager said: “They (Yadav and his friends) were drinking alcohol. They saw two persons passing through the farm with cows and attacked them claiming that they were part of the gang involved in theft of bovines from the village.”

While Alam managed to flee in darkness, they reportedly caught hold Rakbar and thrashed him. “They had no idea that Rakbar will die,” he said, claiming that the accused were part of a cow vigilante group backed by local unit of Shiv Sena.

Villagers in Lalavandi, where Khan was assaulted, said it was a normal practice in the region to herd cows in middle of the night to illegal slaughter houses in Haryana. Transporting cows in a vehicle without requisite permits is an offence under the Rajasthan bovine law but making them walk is not, said a local villager. The distance between Lalavandi and Khan’s village Kol is about 37 kms.

Khan’s father, Sulaiman Mev, denied that his son was a cow smuggler. “He (Rakbar) left home on Friday morning saying he was going to take goats for grazing. This morning I was told that he has been killed,” Sulaiman said.

“My son is not a ‘Go Taskar’ (cow smuggler). I don’t believe in what the people and police are saying. We are a poor family and my son used to work as a labourer in a stone mine,” said Sulaiman, father of seven children. He demanded strict action against all the accused.

Sher Mohammad, sarpanch of Mev Panchayat in Alwar, said that when union ministers felicitate lynching accused then vigilante groups get encouraged to kill innocents. “All accused in Pehlu Khan killing are out of jail but his family is suffering as Khan was termed a cow smuggler,” he said.

Khan will be buried in his village tomorrow.

First Published: Jul 21, 2018 22:01 IST