Pehlu Khan, the man killed by gau rakshaks in Alwar district of Rajasthan, was a dairy farmer and not a cattle smuggler, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. The 55-year-old was returning home to Jaisinghpur village in Nuh tehsil of Haryana’s Mewat on Saturday, after having bought a milch cow from Jaipur the previous day, when a cow vigilante group, affiliated to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal, attacked him with sticks and belts. Khan died on Monday.
The English daily quoted Khan’s son, Irshad, 24, as saying that his father had planned to buy a milch buffalo in Jaipur but had instead ended up buying cows. When Khan, along with his sons Irshad and Aarif and two others from the village were set upon by the gau rakshaks in the Behror area of Alwar, there were five cows and five calves with them. Irshad alleged that there was no sign of the police till about 20 minutes after the attack.
He also accused the Rajasthan Police of not having checked the receipt they had been given for purchasing the cattle. State police have registered a First Information Report against the men for violating the Rajasthan Bovine Animals (Prohibition of Slaughter & Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995. The FIR mentions that Khan and his companions did not have a receipt of purchase at the time of the attack.
Irshad, however, showed the receipt bearing a stamp of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (serial number 89942 dated April 1, 2017) to The Indian Express. He said, “I don’t know how an FIR was registered stating that we had no receipt. I bought the cows for Rs 45,000.”
After the incident, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria had defended the mob. “The problem is from both the sides. People know cow trafficking is illegal but they do it,” he had said. “Gau bhakts try to stop those who indulge in such crimes.” He had, however, added that taking the law in one’s hand was not correct.