Pehlu Khan case: Court finds serious lapses in police probe

Jaipur: As the Rajasthan government has decided to challenge the verdict of the Alwar ADJ court acquitting all six accused in the Pehlu Khan mob lynching case in the high court, it has come to light that the Alwar court in its final verdict wrote that there were several serious lapses in the police investigation into the case.

In April 2017, Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old native of Haryana’s Nuh, Mewat, had left his village to purchase cattle. But he was surrounded by a mob of cow vigilantes on the Delhi-Alwar highway who thrashed him with rods and sticks. He succumbed to his injuries two days later. The case took the nation by storm after a video showing the unpleasant incident went viral on social media. 

The Alwar court in its final verdict maintained that it was not clear as to who shot the video as the police failed to seize the mobile phone through which the incident was filmed. 

The court said even the pictures submitted as evidence failed to prove the crime and hence the ADJ court cannot accept them as evidence.

It also questioned how Pehlu Khan knew the names of the accused since he was from Mewat and the accused were from Alwar. The court further asked why the case was registered against another accused in the first FIR.

It said the accused were not identified and the statement of Pehlu Khan was not recorded following the proper norms before his death.

Meanwhile, the Congress government in the state led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has decided to challenge the decision to acquit all the six accused in the Pehlu Khan case in the high court, said Additional Chief Secretary Rajeev Swaroop.

Swaroop said, “The government is reviewing the verdict given by the lower court and after studying it thoroughly, we shall appeal in the high court. We have decided to make an urgent appeal in the high court against the verdict”. 

He also said that the police did not carry out forensic investigation of the video footage.

Soon after the judgement, Gehlot tweeted, “State Government has enacted law against mob lynching in first week of August 2019. We are committed to ensuring justice for family of late Pehlu Khan. State Government will file appeal against order of ADJ.”

Leader of the Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said, “Our government tried to punish the culprits of Pehlu Khan. However, the victims had lodged complaints against innocent people and hence this verdict.”