Another person has been arrested on Sunday in connection with the Alwar cow vigilantism case. Earlier, three persons were nabbed in the case, which led to the death of 55-year-old Pehlu Khan.
Pehlu Khan and four others, including his two sons, were beaten brutally by some locals at Behror who suspected they were smuggling cows, police officials said.
Khan was not a cow smuggler but a dairy farmer who went to Jaipur to buy milch buffaloes in hopes of increasing milk production during the month of Ramazan. He had the required papers which he showed to the vigilantes before they beat him to death, as Indian Express reported.
Mistake or Calculated Attack?
Pehlu Khan was brutally beaten up by gau rakshaks in Rajasthan's Alwar district and died from his injuries on Tuesday. He was with his sons Aarif and Irshad when they were all mercilessly beaten up.
My father was in a pick-up truck with a Rajasthan numberplate, along with Azmat, who is also from our village. There were two cows and two calves in the truck. Irshad, I and another villager were in the other pick-up truck which had three cows and three calves.Aarif Khan
Aarif recalled how the vigilantes stopped their vehicles, dragged them out and beat them with belts and sticks for early 30 minutes before the police stepped in, by when they were almost unconscious.
Following Khan's death, a case of murder was registered against 11 people of whom six, namely Om Yadav, Hukamchand Yadav, Naveen Sharma, Sudhir Yadav, Rahul Saini and Jagmal, are yet to be arrested. 200 other "unidentified" people were listed as accused.
The Alwar police arrested three people in connection with the case on Wednesday night after purported videos of the incident got circulated on social media.
Driver Released, ‘Smugglers’ Beaten
The vigilantes reportedly accused the men of illegally smuggling cows for slaughter and the Rajasthan Police also registered an FIR against the men for the same. It states that a person identifying as Damodar Singh said Khan and the others did not have documents or a receipt for the cow.
I had all the valid documents with me. We were not even trying to hide the cows, as we were taking them in a pick-up truck.Azmat, 22, told The Indian Express
According to Azmat’s testimony, the gau rakshaks stopped their vehicle on Saturday evening and allowed the driver, Arjun, to leave.
Khan’s uncle said the vigilantes beat him up and then told him to run, saying ‘tu buddha aadmi hai, bhaag,’ (you’re an old man, run away). But they reportedly chased him and beat him up again.
Proofs Ignored, Cash Stolen
Irshad claims they produced their receipts to the men, showing they lawfully purchased the cows. The receipt bore the stamp of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (serial number 89942 dated 1 April, 2017).
I don’t know how an FIR was registered stating that that we had no purchase receipt. I bought the cows for Rs 45,000.
The men also robbed them of their wallets, cellphones and Irshad claims to have had Rs 75,000 while another person claims to have lost Rs 35,000.
Four others who were injured – Azmat, Irshad, Aarif and Rafiq – returned to Nuh on Tuesday, alleging that they were not given proper treatment at the Kailash Hospital in Behror. They claim that Khan died because he did not receive proper care, an allegation that the hospital has denied.
Ramesh Chand Sinsinwar, SHO, Behror police station said an FIR has been lodged against the gau rakshaks under IPC Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 147 (destruction of property), 308 (culpable homicide) and 379 (theft). After Khan’s death, the police have added Section 302 (murder) as well.
The transporters too, have reportedly been booked under the Rajasthan Bovine Animals (Prohibition of Slaughter & Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act 1995.
Also Read: How to Become a Gau Rakshak Celebrity
PUCL Demands Arrest of Those Involved
NGO People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has demanded immediate arrest of those involved in the thrashing of Pehlu Khan leading to his death and a compensation for Rs 1 crore to Khan’s family. They have also demanded Rs 10 lakh each for those who were assaulted.
PUCL general secretary Kavita Srivastava also demanded the arrest of SHO Behror and removal of SP Alwar over the incident.
She claimed that Khan and others had documents of the purchase of animals from Jaipur which they produced before the police.
"Members of VHP, Bajrang Dal and Hindu Jagran Manch thrashed them near Behror in front of the police," she alleged, while demanding action against the police officials.
Reacting on the episode, state Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said it was "alright" if some people caught those who were illegally transporting animals, but maintained that "no one has the right to take the law in their own hands", even as an NGO claimed the five men were thrashed in the presence of police and demanded action against the force personnel.
(With inputs from IANS, PTI)
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