Five months after the brutal Alwar lynching incident, police have now let off the six main accused in the murder case. The men, who were allegedly involved in killing Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer, in an incident of cow vigilantism, have been declared not guilty by the police.
Clean chit to six accused?
The names of the six accused Om Yadav (45), Hukum Chand Yadav (44), Sudhir Yadav (45), Jagmal Yadav (73), Naveen Sharma (48) and Rahul Saini (24) have been cleared by the police. However, the case against the other 9 accused (including two minors) is still being investigated.
The development has put a spotlight on the police investigation as the three of the accused were linked to right-wing organisations. Pehlu Khan's son, Irshad, who was also thrashed by the vigilante mob during the attack, has reacted strongly against the police' move.
"All this happened due to police disloyalty. They have been cheating us all this while," Irshad told ScoopWhoop News. "They were the ones who actually initiated the attack. The other nine accused joined later," he added.
The lynching incident
The 55-year-old Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer, and four others who hail from Mewat in Haryana were brutally beaten by cow vigilantes (gau rakshaks) in full public view near Behror in Alwar. The attackers accused them of illegally transporting cows allegedly for slaughter. While Azmat, Rafique, Irshad and Arif survived the attack, Pehlu Khan succumbed to his injuries after two days in hospital. They also lost their cash, their cows and their vehicles were destroyed.
According to report by Hindustan Times, the statements of witnesses and the employees of the Rath Gaushala (a cow shelter) say that none of the accused was present at the time of the attack. Call record details of the six people along with Base Transceiver Station (BTS) location of mobiles further support this. The investigating officer has thus recommended the removal of the names of the six accused from the case.
ScoopWhoop News tried contacting Alwar Police but didn't get any response.
The footage of the incident (WARNING: THE VIDEO IS GRAPHIC IN NATURE. DISCRETION ADVISED)
'Lot of pressure to shield the accused'
But Irshad rubbished the report and said that the police in Alwar is under a lot of pressure to shield the accused. "No police official is willing to take action against them. Even the lawyers are scared. The case has to come out from Alwar," he said.
He went to explain how his lawyer took Rs 52,000 from him to challenge the bail given to the accused. "I don't know what he argued in the court because the accused were granted bail later," he said.
"They haven't even stayed inside a jail for a day. Do murder convicts stay at home," he questioned.
The police investigation in the entire case has been questionable. In April, the case was first transferred from Behror Station House Officer to Deputy Superintendent of Police, Alwar. However, after mounting criticism, it was then transferred to Superintendent of Police, Jaipur. The Investigating Officer was also changed after complaints by the victim's family.
'Won't give up this fight'
Incidentally, Irshad's allegations against the police come as a surprise as he had earlier the expressed satisfaction over the investigation. But he now plans to visit Delhi so that he can hire a Delhi-based lawyer who has offered to help.
"We will take the matter to Supreme Court. We won't give up this fight," he said.