Alwar/Kolkata: It’s been more than 16 months since Alwar’s Pehlu Khan; a 55-year-old man was lynched to death in one of the many horrific cases of mob lynching in India, for cattle trading. However, the three prime accused Kalu Ram (44), Vipin Yadav (19) and Ravindra Yadav (30) are all out on bail, while Pehlu’s family members accompanying him have been charged under Sections 5, 8, 9 of Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995.
Talking to eNewsroom, Qasim Khan, the lawyer for Pehlu’s case alleged, “The case has been weakened by the police. They, despite having videos which showed the faces of the accused, they only shared the videos in which the identity of those accused was not very clear. As a consequence, they are all out on bail.”
However, he claimed that post the sting operation by NDTV, in which one of its reporters posing as a US-based research scholar had captured the prime accused Vipin Yadav in hidden cameras, confessing to his crime, might help Pehlu’s case take a new turn.
“To be honest, given the way investigation agency is going about with the investigation, we are yet to have the charges framed in the court. To be honest, we knew that we were fighting a battle that we were bound to lose. But a new ray of hope has emerged in the form of this sting operation by NDTV. Yadav had claimed that he was not present in the place where the mob had lynched Pehlu, lack of evidence had made it easy for him to get a bail. But this video, where he is confessing to his crime, shall be used as a vital evidence which we shall use to have his bail cancelled,” said Qasim.
He added, “We shall be having a formal meeting and shall soon be petitioning before the Rajasthan High Court, praying for the cancellation of the bail of the accused let out on bail, on the basis of this video.”
On being asked about the reason, behind, all the accused in the three mob lynching cases of Alwar (Pehlu, Umar and Rakbar) that he is handling, getting bailed easily, Qasim pointed out, “Police files the FIR in such a way that it gets easy for them to get bail. Take the case of Pehlu. In this case, police arrested 6-7 people, who were not present on the spot, while those mentioned in the dying declaration were not arrested. So, these people, on further investigation were let off. The three accused had been arrested on the basis of the videos which went viral. But here also, the police showed bias and submitted the clippings in which the identity of these three men was not that clear. Hence, they had been granted bail. But now, things might change.”
On August 21, Behroor Court will hear the Pehlu Khan case, where the formal framing of charges is scheduled to take place.
On the other hand, the legal battle has taken a toll on Pehlu Khan’s family.
“It’s been a year and we have been able to get only three dates. We are not sure as to how long it will take for the case to end and deliver justice,” said a rather dejected Rafiq Khan, brother of Pehlu.
“We have lost everything – right from my brother to our business, which is almost finished. We have been beaten in such a way that we are unable to even do any odd job. Our kids have had to discontinue their education. However, there has been an exponential rise in only one thing in our life, which is debt,” sobbed Rafiq, as he talked over the phone.
Rafiq, who was clueless about the sting operation, which has left the prime accused in his brother’s case exposed, on being informed about the same, said, “We are dairy farmers, we have been framed and my brother was killed just out of hate. We want the accused to be punished and us to be relieved of the charges slapped on us. We are dairy farmers and not cow smugglers.”