Rajasthan govt orders fresh probe into Pehlu Khan lynching case, two days after Ashok Gehlot promises to challenge Alwar court verdict

  • The Rajasthan government ordered a fresh probe into the Pehlu Khan lynching case on Friday

  • On Wednesday, a court in Alwar acquitted the six accused, stating that the video of the incident was inadmissible evidence

  • Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had said on Wednesday that the state government would appeal against the judgment

The Rajasthan government ordered a fresh probe into the Pehlu Khan lynching case on Friday, CNN-News18 reported, two days after a court in Alwar acquitted the six accused due to "serious shortcomings" in the police probe.

On 14 August, when the judgement was announced, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot had expressed his dissatisfaction over the judgment. Gehlot had said on Wednesday that the state government would appeal against the judgment, which gave the accused — Vipin Yadav, Ravindra Kumar, Kaluram, Dayanand, Yogesh Kumar and Bheem Rathi — benefit of the doubt.

Gehlot also spoke about the case in his address during the Independence Day function on Thursday. "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.

Rajasthan recently enacted a stringent law to ensure that no one becomes the victim of mob lynching in the state.

A fresh probe is likely to fill the loopholes which were highlighted by Additional District and Sessions Judge Sarita Swam in her 92-page judgment on the case earlier this week.

Acquitting the six accused, the court had said they were not identified by the complainants, which needed to be done under Section 161 of the CrPC.

The court had also observed that the accused were identified and charged on the basis of a video but the then investigating officer and Behror SHO, Ramesh Sinsiwar, failed to seize the device used in filming the incident.

The court had also said Sinsiwar recorded the statement of Pehlu Khan in the hospital but he did not obtain any certificate from the doctor, mentioning whether the victim was in a condition to give the statement.

Also, the investigating officer presented the recorded statement to the police station 16 hours later, which was serious negligence, the court order said.

Commenting on the probe by then Circle Officer Parmal Singh, who was handed over the case on 7 April, 2017, the court said he seized the mobile phone of Ravindra Kumar, allegedly used for making another video clip of the incident, but the device and its memory card were not sent for forensic examination.

There was no document on record to validate the ownership of the mobile phone and the man who was presented as an independent witness at the time of seizure also turned hostile, the court observed.

Pehlu Khan (55), a resident of Jaisinghpura village in Nuh district in Haryana, was allegedly attacked in the Behror area on Jaipur-Delhi highway in Rajasthan on 1 April, 2017.

He died during treatment at the hospital two days later.

In September 2017, the Rajasthan Police had given a clean chit to six other people — Hukum Chand, Om Prakash, Sudhir Yadav, Rahul Saini, Navin Sharma and Jagmal Yadav — who were named by Pehlu Khan in his statement before death.

They were given the clean chit on the basis of photographs, their mobile phone locations and the statement of those present at the crime spot.

The Behror police had registered seven FIRs in connection with the incident, one for Pehlu Khan's murder and six for the alleged illegal transportation of bovine. The remaining six cases are at different stages of investigation and trial.

The chargesheet against the accused in the lynching case was presented in the court of the Behror ADJ on February 25 last year. The case was later shifted to the Alwar court.

Initially, the case was investigated by the then Behror SHO, Ramesh Sinsiwar.

Later, it was transferred to the then Circle Officer, Parmal Singh.

After that, the case was shifted to the CID-CB at the Jaipur police headquarters.

The incident had taken place when the BJP was in power in the state with Vasundhara Raje as its chief minister.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Aug 16, 2019 16:51:53 IST