New Delhi, Oct 26 (PTI) Irshad Khan, the son of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan who died after being thrashed by a mob of cow vigilantes in Rajasthan's Alwar in April, today demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the incident.
Addressing a press conference here, Irshad questioned the Rajasthan Police's clean chit in September to the six people named by the deceased in his dying declaration and alleged that the state government "conspired" to let them go scot- free.
"I was with him (Pehlu) when the attack took place around 7 pm on April 1. These people were addressing each other by name. Even the police had reached the spot. But now it is being claimed that police got to know of the issue only around 4 am," Irshad told reporters, his mother by his side.
They were brought to Delhi by a collective of civil society groups, researchers and lawyers including Indira Jaisingh, Prashant Bhushan, Teesta Setalvad and Colin Gonsalves among others.
Irshad added that when police recorded his father's dying declaration around 12 am on April 1, how can they now claim that they were unaware of the incident till about 4 am the next day.
"It is the police which took us to the Kailash Hospital, where my father died on April 3," he said, adding, "the clean chit is absolutely wrong. There should be a Supreme Court- monitored probe, we do not trust the Rajasthan government." The activists and lawyers released a report titled "How the police are protecting the murderers of Pehlu Khan" and "sabotaging" the case against so-called "gau-rakshaks". The report also alleged that there has been "medical manipulation" in the case.
"Clearly, Khan's severe beating led to his death. Yet, the FIR does not invoke Sec 307 of the IPC for the offence of 'attempt to murder' which provides for imprisonement of 10 years to life. Instead, the FIR invokes Sec 308, which only takes cognisance of 'attempt to culpable homicide not amounting to murder'.
"The chargesheet added Sec 302 for murder, which is non- bailable. Yet, the accused secured bail as the prosecution failed to defend the charges and the arrests at the Rajasthan High Court," it said.
Setalvad said that she, along with a group of senior lawyers, may file a protest petition against the closure report filed by the Rajasthan Police's crime investigation department-crime branch (CID-CB) and also demand a higher court monitored probe.
Bhushan wondered how the police could not arrest the people named in the dying declaration for over five months, despite them being "well known" in Alwar's Behror, where the attack took place.
"What is most stunning is that the charge-sheet filed in May said the police investigation had found evidence that the six men were involved in the crime, and the IPC sections invoked in the FIR/charge-sheet would apply to them too. Where is that evidence and why did it become worthless in September?" the report says.
Of the nine persons, who continue to face charges in connection with Khan's murder, the police, so far, has arrested seven. Five of them have secured bail.
Khan and other s were allegedly attacked by cow vigilantes in Alwar on April 1 while they were on their way to Haryana after purchasing cattle in Rajasthan.
Khan and those with him were attacked as the mob suspected them of illegally smuggling cattle. Following the incident, the police had registered a case naming some people and also against scores of unidentified persons.