- An Alwar court recently acquitted all men accused of killing Pehlu Khan
- An SIT has been constituted by state government to probe case afresh
- State government's move has given Pehlu Khan's family renewed hope
Cattle trader Pehlu Khan's family was shattered by a recent decision of an Alwar court to acquit all the six men accused of killing him in 2017, but the Rajasthan government's move to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case afresh has given them renewed hope.
"We were very disappointed by the court's verdict, but Inshah Allah, we may just get justice now," news agency ANI quoted Pehlu Khan's elder son Irshad as saying. While the dead cattle trader's wife also expressed her appreciation for the Rajasthan government's decision, she is determined to appeal against the verdict before the Rajasthan High Court.
Pehlu Khan was beaten to death allegedly by self-proclaimed cow vigilantes on suspicion of cow smuggling in Alwar district two years ago. However, a local court let off all the six accused in the case on Wednesday by giving them the benefit of doubt.
Two days later, the Congress government in Rajasthan announced its plans to launch a fresh probe into the incident.
"I spent nine months of my daily earnings on fighting this case, but its verdict has shattered me. We were denied justice because the police officers probing the case diluted it and produced no evidence against the accused," said Pehlu Khan's younger son, Mubarik, who drives a lorry.
The decision to set up an SIT for re-investigating the case was taken at a high-level meeting presided by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. The team, headed by Deputy Inspector General (Special Operations Group) Nitindeep Ballagan, will try to identify lapses or irregularities in the previous police probe and submit its report in 15 days. It will also collect documents and oral evidence that were not collated before.
After the investigation, the government intends to approach a higher judicial body against the district court's order. "Our state government enacted a law against mob lynching in the first week of August 2019. We are committed to ensuring justice for the family of late Pehlu Khan. The state government will file an appeal against this order," Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had tweeted soon after the verdict.
(With inputs from ANI)