Pehlu Khan was targeted because he was a Muslim: Ex-CIC

NEW DELHI: Former Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah on Saturday highlighted the rise of “religious radicalism” in the country and said dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, who was killed by cow vigilantes in Rajasthan, was targeted because he was a Muslim.

Speaking at a symposium on ‘Religious Persecution of Baha’is in Iran and Belief in the Interfaith Co-existence’, Habibullah said that by allowing atrocities on Baha’is, leaders in Iran are giving Islam a bad name.

“We now have this rise of religious radicalism. Iran itself fighting against the rise of ISIS.

“In our own country we have this instance of Pehlu Khan…simply because he was a Muslim. This is the time for all of those who are right thinking and religious minded for standing together,” Habibullah said.

The former CIC was referring to 55-year-old Pehlu Khan who was waylaid by a mob in Alwar on April 1 when he was transporting cows for his small dairy farm. He was beaten up mercilessly by cow vigilantes and died of his wounds two days later.

The symposium is conducted every year to create awareness over the arrest of seven Bahai leaders — Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Vahid Tizfahm Mahvash Sabet — by Iran.

Former Chief Election Commissioner GVG Krishnamurthy also attended the event.