Nearly 2 years after lynch mob killed Pehlu, he is booked; CM for probe

New Delhi: Anguri Begum, mother of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan along with her family members stage a sit-in demonstration to demand justice for him in New Delhi, on April 19, 2017. (Photo: IANS)

Jaipur (IANS) Under fire for the posthumous charge sheet filed against Pehlu Khan, who was beaten to death for alleged cow smuggling in Rajasthan's Alwar in 2017, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday said the investigation in the case was done by the former BJP government.

"Only the charge sheet has been filed under our government. We will probe if there were any discrepancies in the investigation under the Vasundhara Raje government. A fresh investigation will be ordered if anything wrong is revealed," Gehlot said.

Khan was beaten to death on the Jaipur-Delhi Highway in Alwar in April 2017 while he and his sons were bringing cattle bought from a fair in Jaipur to their home in Haryana's Nuh.

However, in its charge sheet filed on Saturday, the Rajasthan Police posthumously declares Pehlu Khan a "cow smuggler" and accuses him under different sections of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal Act 1995. His sons Irshaad, 25, and Aareef, 22, have also been booked for cow smuggling and slaughter. The charge sheet also names a pick-up driver.

Police sources said that two FIRs were filed in the case. While one was against eight people for mob lynching, the other was against Khan and his sons for transporting cattle without due permission from the administration. The eight accused of mob lynching are out on bail.

"Seven cases were registered against Khan and seven chalans were presented in court. Trial is on in these cases in court," Behror Station House Officer Sugandh Singh said. 

"This charge sheet against him was filed on December 30, 2018, days after the formation of the Congress government in Rajasthan," Singh added. 

Criticising the Congress over the charge sheet, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted: "Congress in 'power' is a replica of the BJP, Muslims of Rajasthan must realise this, reject such individuals/organisations who are brokers of the Congress party and start developing their own independent political platform.70 years is a long time. Please CHANGE."

However, former BJP MLA Gyandev Ahuja said that Khan was a repeat offender. "Even his brothers, sons and other relatives were involved in the crime. In fact all allegations made against cow vigilantes and the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders were wrong," he added.

"Villagers caught Khan while he was smuggling cows. He died in police custody. Now the Congress should not take credit for his arrest as the Congress at that time helped the family get financial help," Ahuja said.

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