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‘Relieved’: Pehlu Khan’s Son as HC Quashes Cow Smuggling Case

“This is huge news for the family,” advocate for Pehlu Khan’s family, Qasim Khan, tells The Quint.

Updated
India
4 min read
Pehlu Khan died in a hospital on 3 April 2017.
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“We are extremely happy that this case has been quashed,” Pehlu Khan’s son Irshad told The Quint from Haryana’s Mewat on Wednesday, 30 October, after the Jaipur High Court quashed the cattle smuggling charges against him, his father (Pehlu) and brother Arif.

Khan and his sons, Irshad and Arif, were together when a mob had attacked them on 1 April 2017 after suspecting that they were illegally transporting cattle.

Two others who were accompanying them, Rafique and Azmat – both eyewitnesses and Khan’s neighbours – were also beaten up by the mob on the same day. They continue to face charges of cow smuggling.

While Irshad is relieved for himself and his brother, Rafique and Azmat are not thrilled.

In a video that went viral, Pehlu Khan was beaten in broad daylight on 1 April 2017 by cow vigilantes on the suspicion of cattle smuggling.
In a video that went viral, Pehlu Khan was beaten in broad daylight on 1 April 2017 by cow vigilantes on the suspicion of cattle smuggling.
(Photo: Aishwarya S Iyer/The Quint)
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THE TWO PEHLU KHAN CASES

Khan was beaten up brutally by a mob, that suspected him of smuggling cattle, on 1 April 2017. He had succumbed to his injuries shortly after, on 3 April.

Two FIRs were filed then. One was on the allegation of cattle smuggling against Khan and the two sons and the second was the case of lynching against those who beat them up, resulting in Khan’s death.

While the first case has been quashed in the Jaipur High Court, the second court verdict was announced on 14 August, acquitting all the accused. Chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ could be heard outside the Alwar courtroom on the day of the acquittal.

The court verdict is up for appeal in the high court currently.

WHO WILL GET RELIEF FROM THIS ORDER?

Arif and Irshad, Khan’s two sons, who were present with him during the beating, are going to get complete relief. The court has quashed the FIR number 253/17 against them.

“My mother and all of us, brothers and sisters, had to keep going to Jaipur, Alwar and Behror because of this case. Now, we do not have this case hanging over our head,” Irshad said.

He adds: “The pressure was immense and it was scary to go out so far away from home. Now we feel relieved, our mother feels more at peace too. Inshallah, we will get justice in the case of the murder of our father (abbu) as well.”

He added that this has only happened as a Congress government is in power in Rajasthan.

The mood was sullen in Pehlu Khan’s home when the seven accused in the case were all acquitted by the Alwar court.
The mood was sullen in Pehlu Khan’s home when the seven accused in the case were all acquitted by the Alwar court.
(Photo: Aishwarya S Iyer/The Quint)

WHO DID NOT BENEFIT FROM THE SCRAPPING OF THE CASE?

The other two men present with Khan have been charge sheeted under a different FIR number, 252/17. Rafique and Azmat are both upset.

Rafique is upset and awaiting relief as well. 
Rafique is upset and awaiting relief as well. 
(Photo: Aishwarya S Iyer/The Quint)
While Rafique is being reticent, Azmat is angry. Speaking to The Quint, he said: “I was an eyewitness in the case. I was also beaten up and was bedridden for months. My parents had to sell everything in the house to take care of us and today, only they get relief. How is this justice? How is this fair?”

Since the incident, in which Azmat suffered an injury to his spine, he has not been able to resume his job as daily-wage labourer. He also had to give up his work as a dairy farmer.

Azmat does not sound hopeful. While in Pehlu’s case the lawyers mindfully moved the higher court to quash the charges, they did not do the same for Azmat as well as Rafique.
Azmat does not sound hopeful. While in Pehlu’s case the lawyers mindfully moved the higher court to quash the charges, they did not do the same for Azmat as well as Rafique.
(Photo: Aishwarya S Iyer/The Quint)

When we asked Qasim why Rafique and Azmat were not given relief, he said: “There are only 90 days after a charge sheet when one can move the court for quashing of the FIR. That was not done in Rafique and Azmar’s case.”

HOW LAWYERS ON BOTH SIDES REACTED

“This is huge news for the family,” Qasim Khan, the advocate representing Pehlu Khan’s family told The Quint, as the Jaipur High Court quashed the cattle smuggling charges against the lynch mob victim and four others in the case.

“Now the family will be able to have the mind space to go ahead and get on with their day-to-day lives. Traveling 200 kilometers every time the case came up for hearing was a big headache for the family,” Qasim added.

Reacting to the quashing, Hukum Chand Sharma, the lawyer representing those accused of lynching Khan, told The Quint: “There was a testimony of Pehlu Khan himself saying he was taking the cattle outside of Rajasthan and into Haryana. The law clearly states that if cattle is transported between borders then the permission of the collector is needed. They did not have this permission.”

Hinting that politics was at play behind the quashing of the FIR, Sharma added: “Those documents would have not been presented in court. Since the state government also changed, it is obvious that they have not done their job well. The PP is also someone who is chosen by the government.”

Of the five people allegedly beaten up by the accused, Khan was the only fatality. The other four are Arif, Irshad, Azmat and Rafique Khan.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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