Rajasthan Police on Monday admitted that its personnel made an “error in judgement” by delaying taking a victim of mob violence in Alwar to hospital, ANI reported. The police have been facing criticism for allegedly taking three hours to admit the victim Rakbar Khan to a hospital just 6 km away.
Khan was allegedly beaten up by a mob while he and his friend were transporting two cows and their calves near Lalwandi village in the district’s Ramgarh tehsil. A police team called to the spot found Khan lying injured and put him in their vehicle to take him to the hospital but allegedly stopped for tea along the way and waited to arrange a vehicle to transport the seized cows to a shelter, NDTV reported. Khan was declared brought dead at the hospital.
Three men have been arrested in the case so far.
Rajasthan’s Special Director General NRK Reddy said there was no evidence yet to prove that Khan was beaten while he was in police custody. “The assistant sub-inspector [who allegedly delayed taking the victim to the hospital] has been suspended and three constables have been sent to district lines [as punishment],” Reddy told reporters.
A video, purportedly of the assistant sub-inspector, has him admitting to the delay, NDTV reported. “Yes I agree it was my fault,” the channel quotes Assistant Sub-inspector Mohan Singh as saying. “Now punish me. Do what you want with me. I made a mistake.”
The Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear on August 20 a petition seeking contempt action against Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments in the Alwar lynching case, ANI reported. The petition cites the state governments’ apparent non-compliance with the Supreme Court’s directions to curb mob lynching as the ground for initiating contempt proceedings against them.
This comes a week after the court told Parliament that mobocracy cannot be allowed in the country and asked it to consider creating a new penal provision to deal with incidents of vigilantism.