After drawing flak from the court for the shoddy police investigation which led to the acquittal of the six accused in the Pehlu Khan lynching case, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said that a fresh probe into the case will be initiated.
Addressing a press conference in Jaipur on Sunday, Gehlot also announced the formation of a Heinous Crime Monitoring System (HCMS) to help solve sensational crimes in a speedy way.
The chief minister said that this unit will be headed by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) SOG Nitindeep Ballagan and also comprise SP, CB-CID Sameer Kumar Singh, and Additional SP, Vigilance, Samir Dubey.
An HCMS is a system that regulates and tries to cut down cases of mob-lynching, and better regulates very serious crimes that result in erosion of public confidence. It will also help bring transparency in solving cases and hasten the process of arresting and punishing criminals. This committee will now function under the supervision of ADG (Crime) and help in effective pursuance of such mob-lynching cases in court.
Blaming the initial dispensation into the case, Gehlot accused the BJP of spoiling the initial probe into the matter, and that negligence by the former BJP government led to the acquittal of the accused — Vipin Yadav, Kalu Ram, Dayanand, Ravindra Kumar, Yogesh Kumar, Bheem Rathi and Deepak alias Golu.
They were arrested by Rajasthan Police on the basis of video evidence under Sections 147, 323, 341, 302, 308, 379 and 427 of the IPC by the Alwar Court, and these were names given by Pehlu Khan in his statement before death.
Soon after that verdict, the Rajasthan government announced that they will challenge this order in the higher court and that a 3-member SIT (Special Investigation Team) was being set up to further investigate the case. The SIT was made to identify errors in the case, examine oral and documentary evidence that was not collected earlier.
#PehluKhan प्रकरण ने पूरे देश को हिला कर रख दिया और जिस प्रकार की लापरवाहियां पिछली सरकार ने की वो कोई सोच नहीं सकता। लापरवाही करने की हदें पार कर गए उसके कारण संदेह का लाभ देते हुए कोर्ट ने मुजरिमों को बरी कर दिया। जो कमी उन्होंने रखी उसे दूर करने के लिए हमने SIT का गठन किया है। pic.twitter.com/n2Ly35uXej
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) August 18, 2019
Gehlot also spoke about this case in his address during the Independence Day function. "Mob lynching is a blot on humanity. We all can feel what the family of the victim would feel. There is no place for any such incident in the state," he said.
On 1 April 2017, Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old dairy farmer, was transporting cows to his hometown in Haryana after purchasing them at a cattle fair in Jaipur when a group of cow-vigilantes surrounded him and began lynching him with sticks and rods on the Rajasthan-Alwar highway.
They accused him of illegally smuggling cattle, even though he had papers to prove himself otherwise, and show that the consignment was legal. He died during treatment two days later in the hospital.
Pehlu Khan's son, Mubarik who drives a lorry had said, "I have invested nine months of my earning in pursuing the case in court. When I heard about the judgment I was shattered. Two of my brothers stay at home and not earn because of the court case. Justice is denied because police diluted the case and produced no evidence," as reported by India Today.
"Our hopes have revived after this order of the government. It'll ensure justice to us. But, we'll go to High Court also," said Pehlu Khan's wife.
In 2014, Varanasi police became the first range of the state to make HCMS online. Rajasthan was, according to Gehlot, the second state after Manipur to implement a law against mob-lynching.
Updated Date: Aug 19, 2019 14:54:33 IST