The family members of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, who was lynched by a mob in 2017, have expressed shock and disappointment at the acquittal of all six adults accused in the case, the Hindustan Times reported. A court in Rajasthan’s Alwar district had on Wednesday acquitted the accused, giving them the benefit of doubt.
Khan died in April 2017 after being attacked by cow vigilantes near Behror on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway. The 55-year-old dairy farmer was transporting cows to his hometown Nuh in Haryana after buying them at a cattle fair in Jaipur. The mob of cow vigilantes waylaid Khan and his son, and accused them of smuggling cattle even though he produced papers to prove that the consignment was legal. Khan died at a private hospital two days later.
“We have lost faith in law,” Pehlu Khan’s eldest son Irshad Khan said. “For the past two and a half years, we were waiting for justice. We thought that justice would be delivered and it will give peace to my father’s soul but instead our hopes are shattered.”
“We had all the necessary evidence to prove that my father was beaten to death by a mob,” Irshad Khan said. “The police had also collected the necessary evidence including the postmortem report.” He said the family was sure the accused would be convicted.
Irshad Khan added that his family will appeal against the verdict in the High Court. “We will study the judgement when we get a certified copy of the order, most likely on August 16,” he said.
The victim’s uncle Hussain Khan said justice had not been done, The Hindu reported. “If not all, we hoped the court would hold at least two or three of them responsible for his murder,” Hussain Khan said. Hussain Khan said he had raised Rs 3 lakh to fight the case despite their financial constraints.
However, no member of the family was present in court when the judgement was delivered. The uncle suspected something amiss after the family’s lawyer did not answer phone calls on Wednesday evening. Hussain Khan said he was afraid Pehlu Khan’s sons would now be arrested in a case of alleged cow slaughter.
The Congress government in Rajasthan has said that it will appeal against the verdict.