Activists and civil society members on Thursday criticised the Rajasthan government and police for closing an investigation against six accused in the Alwar lynching case, the Hindustan Times reported. The Rajasthan Police had on Thursday found no case against six men accused of lynching Pehlu Khan for transporting cows.

All India Progressive Women’s Association Secretary Kavita Krishnan said the Rajasthan government’s move was worthy of condemnation but not unexpected. “It is expected because the state home minister and other ministers of the Rajasthan government were handing out clean chits to the accused even before the investigation had begun,” she told the Hindustan Times.

Author and activist Harsh Mander said there was a pattern to the investigations into incidents of cow vigilantism. “A pattern emerges in every case of mob violence in the country wherein the police almost always treat the victim as if they are somehow the guilty party, and do all they can to protect the accused,” he said. “If the police are forced to lodge an First Information Report against the accused, they also file cross-cases against the victim. It’s outrageous that those six people have been let off.”

Of the six men Khan had named before he died, three are linked to right-wing groups. Employees at a cow shelter in Alwar provided the alleged attackers an alibi, saying that they were at the premises during the lynching. “Based on the findings of the investigating officer, it is hereby recommended that the names of the six accused be removed from the case as they have been found not guilty,” reads the investigation report.