In the infamous Pehlu Khan lynching case, the special investigation team (SIT) of the Rajasthan police is all set to submit its report within a week. The SIT which has reportedly found several lapses and irregularities in the investigation of the Pehlu case will submit its report to the DG Police of Rajasthan who in turn will hand over the final report for action to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Sources say the SIT has found loopholes at every level in the Pehlu case investigation. The shortcomings in the police investigation were even pointed out by the Alwar court which had acquitted all the six accused on August 14th in this lynching case.
Although the Pehlu Khan lynching was caught on a cellphone camera, the police had surprisingly not even done the forensics on the crucial evidence.
Police negligence and especially the failure to collect the mobile on which the video was shot became a crucial factor that led to the acquittal of the accused.
No wonder, ADG Crime BL Soni says: “In this case, the video where Pehlu Khan is seen being beaten by the mob was the biggest piece of evidence but it was not treated very seriously.
There was no major effort to even nab the six accused who Pehlu Khan had named in his statement. Several lapses seem to have been left in the investigation.”
Shockingly, even senior officials at the Police Headquarters in Jaipur then did little to plug the loopholes left by local policemen in Alwar. As a senior official pointed out on condition of anonymity, “ if the district level investigations had lapses and shortcomings, the subsequent officials should have rectified those mistakes.
We have learnt that not only were those lapses retained by CID- CB, the agency also failed to correct the evident loopholes.” He further adds: “The SIT's prime purpose was to revive the case which had fallen flat, the video footages will be presented when the lawyers move the high court to challenge the acquittal. The clips show how badly he has beaten that lead to his death.”
Beyond the identification of lapses, however, public attention is now focused on what action the Gehlot government will initiate against police officials who left such glaring lapses in this major lynching case and whether some justice will be ensured for Pehlu and his family.