Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who ordered a fresh investigation into the politically sensitive case of Pehlu Khan's lynching, has alleged that the accused in the case were acquitted due to the negligence of the BJP-led Vasundhara Raje government. Addressing a press conference in Jaipur on Sunday, Gehlot said, Pehlu Khan case (2017 Alwar lynching) was discussed (durign a state Cabinet meeting), 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."
Earlier on Friday, Gehlot had ordered a fresh investigation into the 2017 Pehlu Khan lynching case and decided to follow it up with an appeal against the acquittal of all six accused in the case by an Alwar court four days ago.
The chief minister also set up a Special Investigation Team under the supervision of state's additional director general of police (Crime) and decided to hire the services of a senior lawyer to guide the probe, besides preparing grounds for appeal in the case. According to an official statement, the chief minister took the decision in a high-level review meeting held for examining the shortcomings in the probe and the findings of the court.
The decision to launch a fresh probe into the case came after an Alwar court on Wednesday acquitted all six persons, accused of leading a mob of suspected cow vigilantes to attack and lynch 55-year-old Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer from Nuh district of Haryana. Khan was lynched near Alwar while returning to his home town in Haryana after buying cattle from Rajasthan.
The Sessions Court let the accused free, giving them benifit of the doubt despite the fact that a video of the incident was available in the public domain. However, the court didn't accept the video evidence as the person who shot it didn't appear before the court, while another witness turned hostile.
The court also termed a sting operation by a private news channel as unadmissible. In the sting, one of the six accused persons is seen baosting about how he, along with other accused beat Pehlu Khan. He also said that even passersby took their turn and hit the Khan, who succumbed to injuries during the treatment in a hospital.