Rajasthan govt moves HC against Pehlu Khan lynching case verdict

Deep Mukherjee
Pehlu Khan was attacked by cow vigilantes in Behror on April 1, 2017. He succumbed to his injuries two days later.

The Rajasthan government has filed an appeal against an Alwar court’s decision in August to acquit all six accused in the lynching of Haryana dairy farmer Pehlu Khan.

Khan, his two sons and two companions were attacked by cow vigilantes in Behror on April 1, 2017, while they were transporting cows. Khan succumbed to his injuries two days later. A video of the attack had gone viral, sparking nationwide outrage.

“The appeal against the Pehlu Khan verdict was filed at the Rajasthan High Court on Monday,” Additional Advocate General Major R P Singh told The Indian Express.

The appeal was filed a month after a special investigation team (SIT) constituted by the state government submitted its report, highlighting lacunae in different levels of investigation in the case, including the video of the lynching not being presented as evidence in a professional manner, taking instruments on record and following proper legal procedure.

The investigation in the case had been conducted during the tenure of the previous BJP government.

In its verdict on August 14, the court of Additional District Judge number 1 in Alwar had given all six accused the benefit of doubt, but observed that the Rajasthan Police probe had “serious shortcomings”.

Following the verdict, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had said that his government would appeal against it. He had also said the government had a clear position — that no form of lynching should take place.