The investigation into the alleged lynching of a 28-year-old man in Rajasthan’s Alwar district on Friday night has been moved outside the town after some reports questioned the police’s conduct in the incident, The Indian Express reported on Monday. Rakbar Khan was allegedly lynched by a group of people on the suspicion of cow smuggling.
The Rajasthan Police have also set up a four-member committee of senior officers to investigate allegations that the Alwar Police delayed taking Khan to hospital, PTI quoted Director General of Police OP Galhotra as saying.
Galhotra said the committee will also investigate if the police beat Khan. “Appropriate action would be taken if any lapses are found in the inquiry report,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the Rajasthan government on the incident, ANI reported.
Earlier in the day, Inspector General Hemant Priyadarshi said Vandana Bhati, the additional superintendent of police in Jaipur range, will investigate the case.
Some villagers in Ramgarh area allegedly attacked 28-year-old Rakbar Khan, alias Akbar, and another man on Friday night while they were transporting cattle to Haryana. Khan’s companion escaped, while Khan died on the way to hospital. The villagers had accused them of smuggling cows.
On Sunday, a report by NDTV claimed that the police took nearly three hours to take Akbar Khan to hospital after they found him injured. According to the First Information Report, the police got a call about the incident at 12.41 am. The entry register at the Community Health Centre, just a few kilometres away, showed that the man was brought there at 4 am. He was declared brought dead.
The police had got the call from Naval Kishore Sharma, the chief of Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s local Gau Raksha cell. They reached the spot around 1.15 am, he told NDTV. The policemen gave the injured man a bath as he was covered in mud, and then organised vehicles to take the cows to a cattle shelter, he claimed. On the way to the hospital, the policemen also stopped for tea.
Witnesses told NDTV and The Indian Express that they saw the police beating Khan and abusing him. Khan was alive at the time.
“We will cover all aspects in the investigation. If there is any lapse – at any level and by anyone – we will certainly take strict action,” Alwar Superintendent of Police Rajendra Singh told The Indian Express. “We will take the investigation to its logical and correct conclusion.”
Soon after the incident, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja had said, “I demand a judicial inquiry to ascertain whether he was lynched by the mob or beaten to death by police.”
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday said he was not surprised at the Rajasthan Police’s actions, and claimed they had done the same in an earlier case of mob lynching. “These gau rakshaks [cow vigilantes] and police are in this together,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Rajasthan minister Gulab Chand Kataria has said that if it is found that the police delayed taking Khan to the hospital, action will be taken.
Meanwhile, the police arrested a third person on Sunday in connection with the alleged lynching and are looking for another suspect, PTI reported. Two people were arrested the day before. A court has sent the three accused to five days’ police remand.