With Rajasthan Police giving a clean chit to all the six accused named by Pehlu Khan in his dying declaration, the family of the dairy farmer from Haryana's Muslim-dominated Nuh district who was brutally beaten by cow vigilantes in April this year said they will fight to get justice for him.
Khan's son, Irshad, told the media in his village Jaisinghpur, 15 km from Nuh town, that they will ensure that those behind his murder get punished. He said they will move the Supreme Court to seek justice for Khan.
His comments follow reports that the Crime Investigation Department-Crime Branch (CID-CB) of Rajasthan Police has given a clean chit to the six accused, who were named in the case by Khan and others in neighbouring Rajasthan's Alwar district in April.
"These six accused were the main people who stopped our vehicle and started beating us up. They were joined by 15-20 others. We tried to show them papers that we were dairy farmers who were bringing the cows for dairy farming from a government fair (mela) but they tore up the papers and attacked us," Irshad Khan said.
Pehlu Khan, 55, died in hospital after being brutally beaten by the cow vigilantes on the Behror Highway near Alwar while he alongwith others was transporting cattle purchased from Rajasthan to Haryana.
Others, including his sons, received serious injuries in the unprovoked attack.
Pankaj Kumar Singh, Additional Director General of Police, CID-CB told IANS: "We conducted detailed investigations and probed call details and mobile locations, and even recorded statements after which we found no proof against the six persons."
"We have recommended closing case against the six accused," Singh said. However, he said that evidence against two other persons has been found in the case and they are yet to be arrested.
The chargesheet was filed against seven persons, including two minors, in the case. With two new names cropping up the figure stands at nine now.
Having seen his father being mercilessly beaten with sticks, rods and belts by the vigilantes, Irshad says he is even now unable to comprehend why all this happened with them.
"They targetted us for being Muslims. Our father was beaten to death in front of our eyes. We had done nothing wrong. The cows were being brought for dairy farming," Irshad had said earlier.
Pehlu Khan is survived by his wife, who has suffered a paralytic attack, and eight children, the youngest ones aged seven and five.
Both Rajasthan, where the attack took place, and Haryana have Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments and Hindu activist groups are active in these states.
The Nuh district in southwest Haryana is Muslim dominated. Of the nearly 11 lakh population of the district in the 2011 Census, nearly 80 per cent is that of Muslims. The district headquarter town of Nuh is located around 70 km from New Delhi.
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in a tweet expressed shock over closing of the case against the accused.
"Shocking! What has happened to our law and order machinery? What kind of inquiry is this, in which all culprits are given a clean chit? Such investigations only raise suspicions and erode people's faith in the system," he posted.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury in a tweet said, "No one killed Pehlu Khan, despite his dying statement and other proof available. Dear BJP-RSS, a cover-up amounts to complicity in lynching."
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)