Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday alleged that the negligence by the former Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state led to the acquittal of six accused by a Sessions Court in Alwar last week in the Pehlu Khan lynching case, ANI reported.
“Pehlu Khan case was discussed, the negligence by the earlier government cannot be imagined, that is why accused were given the benefit of doubt by the court and were acquitted,” said Gehlot.
He said the BJP government had changed the Pehlu Khan case investigators thrice, which led to the accused getting the benefit of doubt. “The camera by which the incident shot was not seized, NDTV sting video operation where the accused admits his role was not accepted, identification parade was not held and call details of the accused were collected showing their presence on the incident spot but certificate was not taken by officials,” he said.
Gehlot announced the formation of a Heinous Crime Monitoring Unit to investigate such crimes and help to effectively pursue such cases in court.
Gehlot also said that filing a first information report inside police stations has been made compulsory in the state. “The number of crimes will increase, but it is necessary to provide relief to the people. If we do not do it in the police station, then we have started the process of registering inside the SP office, that too is not anywhere in the country,” he said.
On August 14, soon after the verdict, the Rajasthan government had announced that it would challenge the order in a higher court. The chief minister had set up a three-member special investigation team to hold a fresh inquiry and examine the previous investigation to find if there were any lapses.
The special investigation team will identify errors and irregularities in the inquiry and fix responsibility. It will also examine oral and documentary evidence that was not collected earlier. A senior lawyer will be hired to prepare the appeal against the verdict, Gehlot had said. The team will submit its report within 15 days.
Khan was killed 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 on April 1 after buying them at a cattle fair in Jaipur. The mob of cow vigilantes had waylaid Khan and his son and accused them of smuggling cattle even though he produced papers to prove that the consignment was legal. Khan had died at a private hospital two days later.