‘Min­is­ters gave clean chit be­fore the probe’

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - Deep Mukher­jee let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Ac­tivists and civil so­ci­ety mem­bers have crit­i­cised the Ra­jasthan gov­ern­ment and po­lice for clos­ing a probe against six peo­ple named by dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, who died two days after al­leged cow vig­i­lantes at­tacked him in April.

As re­ported by HT on Thurs­day, po­lice have given a clean chit to the six men, three of whom are linked to Hindu rightwing or­gan­i­sa­tions, based on the state­ments of the staff of a cow shel­ter and mo­bile records.

The move was deeply con­demnable and shock­ing but not un­ex­pected, CPI (ML) Polit­buro mem­ber Kavita Kr­ish­nan said on Thurs­day. “It is ex­pected be­cause the home min­is­ter and other min­is­ters of the Ra­jasthan gov­ern­ment were hand­ing out clean chit to the ac­cused even be­fore the in­ves­ti­ga­tion had be­gun,” she said.

The Supreme Court that had asked states to ap­point a nodal of­fi­cer in each district to pre­vent vi­o­lence in the name of cow should also mon­i­tor probe into lynch­ing in­ci­dents, she said.

There was a pat­tern to the in­ves­ti­ga­tions in re­cent lynch­ings, au­thor-ac­tivist Harsh Man­der said. “A pat­tern emerges in ev­ery case of mob vi­o­lence in the coun­try wherein the po­lice al­most al­ways treat the vic­tim as if they are some­how the guilty party and do all they can to pro­tect the ac­cused,” he said.

The sys­tem of cross-case of­ten ended up deny­ing jus­tice to the ag­grieved party. “If the po­lice are forced to lodge an FIR against the ac­cused, they also file cross­cases against the vic­tim. It’s out­ra­geous that those six peo­ple have been let off,” Man­der said.

Khan was trans­port­ing cows from a mar­ket in Jaipur to his home in Nuh, Haryana, when he was lynched by al­leged cow vig­i­lantes near Al­war on April 1, one of many at­tacks on Dal­its and Mus­lims by self-styled cow pro­tec­tors. On Septem­ber 1, the crime in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­part­mentcrime branch that was look­ing into Khan’s killing asked Al­war po­lice to re­move the six peo­ple from the list of ac­cused.

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