Shocking! Alwar lynching victim Pehlu Khan chargsheeted posthumously by the Congress government

In a shocking move by the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government, dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, who was lynched to death by self-appointed ‘gau rakshaks’ two years ago, has posthumuously been chargesheeted for cow smuggling by the Rajasthan police. 

Pehlu Khan

As reported in the Indian Express, the latest chargesheet, consisting of Pehlu Khan’s name, along with the owner of the pick-up truck that was used for transporting the cattle on April 1, 2017, when the lynching took place near Behror, was prepared on December 30 last year, days after the Congress party came to power in Rajasthan. The chargesheet was presented in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Behror on May 29 this year. 

Speaking to the Indian Express, Khan’s eldest son Irshad (25), who is named in the chargesheet, said, “We lost our father in the attack by cow vigilantes and now we have been charged as cow smugglers. We had hoped that the new Congress government in Rajasthan will review and withdraw the case against us but now a chargesheet has been filed against us. We hoped for justice after the government change but that didn’t happen.” Khan’s younger son, Aarif, has also been named in the chargesheet.

Khan and his sons have been charged under sections 5, 8 and 9 of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (RBA) (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995 and Rules, 1995.

“After complete investigation in the matter, offences under section 5, 8, 9 RBA Act has been proved against accused Irshad, Aarif and Pehlu Khan while offences under Section 6 RBA Act has been proved against accused Khan Mohammed,” states the current chargesheet filed against FIR number 253/17 of Behror police station, Alwar.

Section 5 of the RBA Act, 1995 and Rules, 1995 pertains to prohibition of the export of bovine animals for the purpose of slaughter and regulation of temporary migration or export for other purposes. According to Section 6, the transporter is also an abettor and is liable for the same punishment as the person committing the offence. Section 8 is about the penalty for such offences while Section 9 mentions punishment for causing hurt to a bovine animal.

AIMIM chief, Asaduddin Owaisi, took to Twitter to express his disapproval of the Congress government’s move. He tweeted, “@Congress in “Power” is replica of BJP ,Muslims of Rajasthan must realise this,reject such individuals/organisations who are brokers of congress party,& start developing their own independent political platform ,70 years is a long time please CHANGE.”

Pehlu Khan (55) was a dairy farmer from Nuh village in Haryana. On March 31, 2017, he left for Jaipur with his sons Irshad and Arif and a few other dairy farmers, to purchase cows so that he could increase milk production. He got a certificate from civic authorities stating that the purchase was for dairy production. 

However, on April 1, 2017, as Pehlu Khan and his companions were returning to their village with their cows, they were attacked by cow vigilantes at the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway in Alwar, Rajasthan. Nearly 200 Gau Rakshaks surrounded the group and violently attacked them. The men accused Khan of transporting the cows for slaughter. Though Khan showed them the documents of his purchase that clearly stated that the cows had been bought for dairy farming, the Gau Rakshaks disregarded the paperwork and physically assaulted Khan and his companions. Strikingly, the incident took place at a spot that was only 2 kilometers from the local police station. Khan lost his life in the hospital, two days after the brutal attack.

Just before dying, Khan had named the six accused who had attacked him in a statement before the police. Instead of treating Khan’s statement as a dying declaration and the final truth, the police filed an FIR against Khan under the aforementioned sections of the RBA Act, 1995. Notably, the charges filed against the assailants were milder and they were all given a clean chit in September 2017 based on some dubious testimony by sympathisers of the cow protection cause.

While BJP is infamous for its Hindutva ideology with our Prime Minister not even acknowledging the rampant increase in such crimes of cow vigilantism, this move comes as a shocker considering that the Congress is now ruling Rajasthan as opposed to BJP when the heinous incident took place.
A brief of State-specific Cow Slaughter Prevention Laws can be read here.

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