Judicial Inquiry Ordered in Alwar Lynching: What We Know So Far

“I made a mistake. Punish me or pardon me. It is simple & straight,” the assistant sub-inspector purportedly said.

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The Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court of Alwar on Tuesday, 24 July, ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident that led to Rakbar Khan's (Akbar) death, and handed over the case to Additional CJM (ACJM), Rajgarh, for investigation.

The police had requested the Alwar CJM to order a judicial inquiry into the case, reported IANS.


Earlier, the post-mortem report in the lynching of Rakbar Khan – also known as Akbar Khan – in Rajasthan’s Alwar revealed that the cause of death was shock as a result of the ante-mortem injuries sustained.

According to CNN-News18, Khan sustained 12 injuries, and his hands and legs were found broken.

Akbar Khan, 31, was allegedly lynched by a mob in Rajasthan's Alwar on suspicion of cow smuggling on Friday, 20 July.


ASI Suspended

The Rajasthan police on Monday, 23 July, suspended an assistant sub-inspector and sent three other constables to police lines for "delay" in taking him to a hospital.

The action was taken after a video purportedly showing ASI Mohan Singh, who was posted at the Ramgarh police station, admitting to his "mistake", went viral, reported PTI.

"Mere se galti hogai...kaise bhi maan lo..saja de do ya chhodh do...seedhi si baat hai (I made a mistake...punish me or pardon is simple and straight)," the ASI could be heard purportedly saying in the video.

A four-member committee, constituted by the Rajasthan police to look into the delay in taking Khan to the hospital, suspended the ASI and shifted the constables to police lines, special DGP (law and order) NRK Reddy said at a press conference in Alwar.

Meanwhile, three accused – Dharmendra Yadav, Paramjeet Singh and Naresh Singh – have been nabbed in connection with the incident and are under police custody for five days.

The Supreme Court has said that it will hear a plea seeking action against the Rajasthan government for not protecting the victim in the Alwar lynching case on 20 July.

The killing of Rakbar Khan comes a year after another cattle trader, Pehlu Khan, was mercilessly lynched in the same district.


What the FIR Says

  • The First Information Report (FIR) says that the police reached the spot in half-an-hour, found an injured Akbar in the mud, washed him, then questioned him for a while before taking him to the hospital where he was declared brought dead, The Indian Express reported.
  • Akbar was declared brought dead at the Ramgarh Community Health Centre (roughly 4 km from Lalawandi village, where the incident took place), according to The Indian Express.

What Eyewitnesses Recall

  • According to The Indian Express and NDTV, the police took almost 3 hours to take the victim to the nearby hospital, barely 4 kms from the spot of the crime.
  • Naval Kishore Sharma, who works for Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP)’s Gau Raksha cell in Ramgarh, informed the police about a suspected case of cow smuggling.
    Sharma accompanied the cops to the spot, made arrangements with them to ferry the seized cows, sipped tea from a nearby stall and then took Akbar to the hospital, The Indian Express reported.
  • Sharma claims the cops assaulted Akbar on their way to the hospital. When he left for Sudha Sagar Gaushala on Alwar road with the cows, Akbar was alive but when he came back he wasn’t, Sharma told the English daily.
  • Another report in Deccan Herald quoted Sharma as saying that cops thrashed Akbar to death.
  • "... The police took Akbar to the police station where some of them started thrashing him in the presence of assistant sub-inspector Mohan Singh, Sharma told Deccan Herald, questioning the chain of incidents that took the police three hours to travel a distance that otherwise takes just 12 minutes.
  • According to an NDTV report, an eyewitness said she had seen the police beat and abuse the injured man.
  • Maya, the 61-year-old woman, also a relative of Sharma’s, told Hindustan Times: “I saw the police kicking a man (Khan) lying in mud and abusing him. When I went there to see what was happening, they told me to go away."

The Police's Version

  • The police, when confronted with contradictions in the FIR and the narrative of eyewitnesses, said that they will cover all aspects in the investigation. "If there is any lapse – at any level and by anyone – we will certainly take strict action. We will take the investigation to its logical and correct conclusion,” Alwar SP Rajendra Singh told The Indian Express.
  • Addressing a press conference on Monday, 23 July, Special DG NRK Reddy said that there was no information on the victim being trashed in police custody,
  • Referring to Akbar having been admitted only after the seized cows were transported to a shed, Reddy said prima facie investigation had revealed an “error in judgement in deciding what was important at that point.”
  • Meanwhile, Ilyas Khan, brother of the deceased, rejected the claims of police’s alleged involvement in the killing of Akbar.

Rahul Gandhi Calls it Modi’s ‘Brutal New India’

  • Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday, 23 July, criticised the conduct of the policemen, saying that it took them 3 hours to get a dying "Rakbar Khan, the victim of a lynch mob, to a hospital just 6 km away." He said that this was "Modi’s brutal ‘New India’ where humanity is replaced with hatred and people are crushed and left to die."
  • The Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Ramgarh, Gyan Dev Ahuja, also alleged that it wasn't the mob but the police who beat the victim to death. “They (the accused) slapped the cow smuggler a bit and informed the police. My sources told me that the police took the smuggler to custody and thrashed him with lathis to show people that they are taking strict action,” he told Hindustan Times.
  • Reacting to reports of "police's complicity", AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday, 23 July, launched a scathing attack on Rajasthan police, saying their actions didn't come as a surprise to him. "They did the same in the murder case of Pehlu Khan. Rajasthan police support cow vigilantes. The police are hand-in-glove with the gau rakshaks," he told ANI.
  • Gulab Chand Kataria, Rajasthan home minister, said that the administration will verify the reports claiming police delayed taking the victim to the hospital, leading to his death. "We will get this information verified, and if it is found true, we will take action against those responsible," he told ANI.
  • A BJP MP from Rajasthan's Nagaur has defended the police, saying it would be "unfair" to target them. CR Chaudhary was quoted by PTI as saying, "It is not like that. Police did its work. Police have arrested the accused and took the injured to the hospital immediately. Sometimes, media does not give proper message. I don't think that police lacked in its action."

(With inputs from The Indian Express, NDTV, Hindustan Times, Deccan Herald, PTI and ANI)

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Topics:  Rajasthan   Alwar Lynching   Mob Lynchings 

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