- Police sought reinvestigation in the illegal cattle transportation case
- The court order came five days after the police filed a petition
- The chargesheet released in June had resulted in an uproar
An Alwar court on Thursday permitted the Rajasthan Police to reinvestigate a case of cattle smuggling against the sons of Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old dairy farmer who was killed by a group of cow vigilantes along the Jaipur-Delhi national highway on April 1, 2017.
The order came five days after the police filed a petition seeking the court's permission to re-open a chargesheet that had named the victim and two of his sons as the accused in the case late last month.
A supplementary chargesheet will be filed after further investigation, news agency ANI quoted Alwar Superintendent of Police Parish Deshmukh as saying.
Two FIRs were filed in the case, the first against eight people who allegedly killed the dairy farmer and the other charging Pehlu Khan and his sons with transporting cattle to another state reportedly without requisite permissions.
However, the victim's family recently filed an application before the Rajasthan police, claiming they were not moving the cows out of Rajasthan but only to a relative's farm in Alwar.
It was on this basis that the police sought reinvestigation in the illegal cattle transportation case.
Eight of the men accused of beating Pehlu Khan to death are out on bail, and two of them have absconded.
The chargesheet released in June had resulted in an uproar, with rights activists questioning the logic behind persecuting Pehlu Khan's family when they were obviously the victims in the incident. One of his sons, Irsad, even claimed that they were being tortured on account of being eye-witnesses in the case.
However, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot defended the ruling Congress government by saying that the chargesheet was a result of an investigation taken up under the previous BJP government. "The case will be re-investigated if the probe was found to have been conducted with predetermined intentions," he said.
Pehlu Khan and his two sons were transporting cows along the Jaipur-Delhi national highway when they were stopped by cow vigilantes and brutally assaulted.
A cellphone video showed Pehlu Khan being yanked by the neck, thrown to the ground and kicked. He died in the hospital two days later.