- Accused Vipin Yadav told police he had no role in the killing
- Dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was killed in Rajasthan last year
- "There has been no justice. We are forgotten," said Pehlu Khan's wife
An NDTV investigation in which an accused in the lynching of Alwar dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was caught on hidden camera bragging about the attack, has left his family shocked. Nearly one-and-half years after his death, the accused in the case are roaming free on bail, pleading innocence before the authorities.
NDTV had caught up with Vipin Yadav in Behror town in Alwar, nearly three hours from Jaipur. He was one of the men who attacked 55-year-old Pehlu Khan while taking home two cows he had bought at a cattle fair. The mob had attacked him, suspecting him of cattle smuggling.
"I recognise the person on the NDTV sting video as the person who stopped our vehicle. He started beating us," said Pehlu Khan's son Irshad Khan, recalling the events of April 1, 2017.
The heart-rending details of what followed were narrated by Vipin Yadav, who had told the police that he had no role in the killing. Last year, the 19-year-old was publicly felicitated by a group in Alwar and put on par with freedom fighters Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad.
To the NDTV team posing as researchers from the US, Vipin Yadav said they had beaten Pehlu Khan for one-and-a-half hours.
"Haan humlog 1.5 ghante tak pitate rahe ... pehle 10 aadmi aaye phir 20 aadmi aaye waha karib 500 log akatrit ho gaye (We kept beating him up for 1.5 hours. Initially, there were 10 people then the crowd swelled)," he said.
The video of the elderly man being yanked by his neck and thrown to the ground, and then relentlessly punched, kicked and beaten with rods, was circulated widely and evoked countrywide outrage.
Vipin Yadav confirmed Irshad Khan's claim that he was the one to stop their truck.
"Maine hi nikaale the, aur bike aage nikaalne ke baad bhi wo rok nai rahe they, toh maine zabardasti chaaabi nikal ke unko baahar nikaal liya (They weren't stopping their trucks, so I had to overtake them and take their keys to catch them),"he said, adding he had forgotten to remove the keys in the frenzy of the attack.
"Han unki haalat aisi hogai thi ki zada maar pitaai hogai thi, 2 pickup ki chaabi mere paas hi thi, mere pocket me hi rah gai thi (He [Pehlu] was badly beaten up, while that happened I had forgotten that the keys to his truck were left in my pocket)," he said.
"It has been one-and-a-half years. There has been no justice. We are forgotten," said Pehlu Khan's wife Zaibuna.
In January, the case reached the court, with the police filing a chargesheet. The court now has to go through it and frame the charges. Vipin Yadav, one of the nine people named in it, has been charged with murder.
After the NDTV investigation, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to urgently take up the case involving a mob-attack in Hapur - located in Uttar Pradesh around 70 km from Delhi. A man had died and another ws injured in the attack, which took place on June 18 last year.
In view of the court's decision, the lawyers representing Pehlu Khan's family said they would also ask for fast tracking the case.