Pehlu Khan’s family threatens mass suicide if accused get bail

New Delhi: Family members of Rajasthan farmer Pehlu Khan, who was lynched by gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes) in April, on Friday expressed resentment over the slow-moving investigation and threatened to commit mass suicide if the accused get bail.

“The pace of the investigation is very disappointing. Despite strong evidence, the accused are likely to get bail within three months. If that happens, all our family members will commit suicide in the court,” Pehlu Khan’s uncle Hussain Khan said at an event organised by the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan here.

Hussain said the family was using all possible resources available to them. “Even lawyers are scared due to the pressure exerted by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bajarang Dal,” he said.

Pehlu Khan was waylaid and beaten mercilessly by gau rakshaks on April 1, 2017, when he was transporting cows to his small dairy farm in Rajasthan’s Alwar. He died two days later.

His two sons, Irshad and Arif, were also present at the event, where they lashed out at the government for dividing the country on communal lines.

“If the government desires, it can stop the gau rakshaks and the RSS from creating terror and injecting communal poison in the society. However, these organisations confidently say they are not scared of the law,” Irshad said.

He said the government’s intention was clear that it did not want to take any action against the accused.

Irshad said the call for cow protection was not just intended to target Muslims but a medium to break the unity between Hindus and Muslims.

“What had Junaid done? Did he have a cow with him when he was attacked and killed? The RSS and Bajarang Dal are trying to divide Hindus and Muslims on communal lines by taking up the issue of cow protection,” he said, talking about the stabbing of a Muslim youth on an EMU train on June 22.

At the same programme, D.N. Jha, historian and author of the book “The Myth of the Holy Cow”, said the cow protection activism and “gau mata” concept did not find any reference in Vedic literature but came into existence only in the 1880s.

He made an appeal to look at the issue historically and critically.