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  • Soumya Mani


In the high-profile case of the lynching of the alleged cow-smuggler Pehlu Khan, Sessions Court, Rajasthan has acquitted all the six accused namely Vipin Yadav, Ravindra Kumar, Kalu Ram, Dayanand and Bheem Singh who were charger under sections - 147, 341, 323, 302, 308, 427, 379 and 149 of I.P.C. Additional District & Sessions Judge Sarita Swami pronounced the judgment in a packed courtroom in the presence of the accused, who were earlier released on bail at various stages during the trial. Three other accused, who are minors, are facing proceedings as children in conflict with law in Alwar’s Juvenile Justice Board.

The incident took place on August 1, 2017, sparked nation2wide outrage. Haryana dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, 55, and his sons were transporting cows, after purchasing them in a cattle fair in Jaipur, to their hometown Nuh in Haryana, when they were waylaid near Behror by the self-styled cow vigilantes and beaten up on the accusation of smuggling cattle. Khan died of his injuries in a hospital after two days.

The chargesheet was submitted in a court in Behror, but the trial was later shifted to Alwar. While giving the benefit of the doubt to the accused, the Court ruled that the video footage of the incident that went viral on the social media could not be treated as admissible evidence in the absence of its certification by the forensic science laboratory. Besides, Khan’s sons reportedly could not identify the accused and the prosecution could not prove that they were the ones visible in the video.

After the judgement has come, there is great dissatisfaction and disappointment among the public. It raises a very important question "Is this justice? Has justice been rendered to Pehlu Khan and his family?"