ALWAR: The name of Pehlu Khan was dropped from the charge sheet after his death, said Superintendent of Police (SP) Anil Paris Deshmukh here on Saturday.
“Media reports stating that the charge sheet was filed against Pehlu Khan even after his death are incorrect. The name of Pehlu Khan was removed from the charge sheet on account of his death,” Deshmukh told ANI.
The charge sheet against three persons including two sons of Pehlu Khan — Irsad, Arif and the owner of the transporter Khan Mohammad – was prepared on December 30 last year. The charge sheet was presented in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Behror on May 29 this year.
A total of 7 FIRs were filed in the case — six under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995, and one in the murder case of Pehlu Khan, police said. The charge sheet accuses them under Sections 5, 8 and 9 of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal Act, 1995.
On being asked about the basis on which a charge sheet was filed against Pehlu Khan’s sons, Deshmukh said: “As far as the charge sheet in six cases (registered under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal Act) is concerned, the investigation in four of them was completed. A charge sheet was filed in May 2017, and that of the fifth case was filed in January 2018 against his sons in which the charge sheet has been filed.”
Police said three people — Arif, Irsad and Khan Mohammad — had failed to show any permit for cattle they were travelling with from Rajasthan to Haryana.
“It would be wrong to say that the three people were named for cow smuggling. Their names are in the charge sheet as they failed to show any official document, which allows them to transport cow from Rajasthan to another state,” said Deshmukh.
He said the trial in the case is underway and 42 out of 46 witnesses have given their statements and the rest of the witnesses will be heard in July.
In the case of Pehlu Khan’s murder, seven accused were arrested and two minors were detained. The charge sheet against all nine accused was presented to the court on February 25, 2018, said Deshmukh.
Kasim Khan, the lawyer of Pehlu Khan’s sons, said: “Pehlu Khan had permission from the concerned official for the transportation of cattle. However, police did not take a note of it. The process of filing the charge sheet was also delayed by the police.”
“They named six people, who were released later. Police did not attach the documents given by us. If they would have taken it into consideration, the situation would have been different,” said Khan.
Meanwhile, Pehlu Khan’s son Irsad Khan on Saturday said that he was hoping to get justice from Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot led Congress government in Rajasthan.
“We had a hope from the Congress government that they will help us in getting justice but all our struggle went in vain,” Irsad said.
“We were hoping that we will get justice now. They killed our father in front of our eyes but now they are torturing us as some of us are the eye-witnesses in the case,” he said.
Chief Minister Gehlot on Saturday, however, said Pehlu Khan’s name does not appear in the charge sheet submitted by the state police in December 2018.
“News reported in Indian Express is factually incorrect. Name of Late #Pehlu Khan is not there in the charge sheet submitted by #Rajasthan Police in December 2018,” Gehlot wrote on his official Twitter handle.
“The Congress party is ideologically committed against any kind of lynching anywhere in the country and our government is vigilant to ensure it will not have happened again,” read another tweet by Gehlot.
Talking about the investigation in the case, Irsad said that he was not satisfied with the probe going on in the case.
“We were coming back from Jaipur with cows. We had valid papers with us but the cow vigilantes did not listen to us and tore the documents. Now, after two and a half years, they have filed a charge sheet against us. They released six accused, who were named by my father. How can we be satisfied with the investigation,” he asked.
It is worth noting that Pehlu Khan, 55, was lynched to death in 2017 allegedly by cow vigilantes near Behror in Rajasthan on Delhi-Alwar highway on April 1. Khan was accused of smuggling cattle. He succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital on April 3.
Social activist Arif said: “It was a case which caught the attention of the international media. We had hoped for justice from the newly-formed Congress government in the state. Now we have realised that it is also following the path of the previous government.”
Echoing similar sentiments, eye-witness Azam said: “The charge sheet has been filed against us after we gave statement against the accused in the case. We were attacked, looted, and one of us was killed. The charge sheet also filed against us. We are living in fear.”
Chief Minister Gehlot has said the “Congress party is ideologically committed against any kind of lynching anywhere in the country and our government is vigilant to ensure it will not have happened again.”
He said that his government would see if the investigation in the past was done with any “predetermined intentions.