A special investigation team set up by the Rajasthan government to look into the lynching of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in 2017 submitted its status report in the case on Wednesday, the Hindustan Times reported on Friday. The team found multiple lapses in the police investigation.
The report was submitted to Rajasthan Director General of Police Bhupendra Singh. Confirming the receipt of the report, Singh said: “The department will examine all the recommendations.”
A sessions court in Alwar town had acquitted all six accused in the case last month. 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 SIT pointed out loopholes by each of the four investigating officers in the case. It said that the first investigating officer reached the scene of the crime only three days after, failed to inform the forensic team and did not order medical examination of the the vehicles in which Khan was transporting the cows. In all, he is alleged to have made 29 mistakes.
The second investigating officer overlooked the shoddy probe and failed to supervise it properly, the SIT alleged. The third investigating officer did not record the statements of witnesses. The fourth one exonerated six accused without any new or solid evidence, the SIT claimed.
The SIT report said the six accused – Vipin Yadav, Ravindra Yadav, Kalu Ram Yadav, Dayanand Yadav, Yogesh Khati, and Bhim Rathi – should also have been charged with dacoity, rioting and rioting armed with a deadly weapon in addition to murder. The team was constituted also to identify important evidence that was either not gathered during investigation or not presented properly during the trial.
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.
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