Six persons held in connection with the lynching of a 55-year-old man, Pehlu Khan, whose killing triggered a massive outrage earlier this year, have been given a clean chit by the Rajasthan police.
The police claimed that the clean chit had been given on the basis of evidence even as the victim's son termed it a "betrayal" and asserted that the family would seek another probe.
Nine others, however, continue to face criminal charges in connection with Khan's killing, according to officials.
"Six persons have been given a clean chit in the investigation into the Pehlu Khan case," ADG (CID-CB), Pankaj Kumar Singh said.
He added that the clean chit was given on the basis of statements of those present on the scene of the crime, photographs and mobile phone location records.
Those given a clean chit were Hukum Chand, Om Prakash, Sudhir Yadav, Rahul Saini, Navin Sharma and Jagmal Yadav, Singh told PTI.
Earlier, Khan had named the six persons as being among those who had attacked him, he said.
The Pehlu Khan lynching case was handed over to the crime investigation department-crime branch (CID-CB) in July. The CB-CID had on September 1, handed over its report to the Alwar police, officials said.
Expressing shock at the development, Khan's son Irshad, who was with him at the time of the assault, said that the family would fight till the last breath to get justice.
"This is betrayal. We heard the names (of the accused) when they attacked. How can they be given clean chit? We will seek an inquiry again," he said.
Nine more persons continue to face charges in connection with Khan's murder. The police, so far, has arrested seven of these, of which five later got bail. Two others are absconding, officials said.
Khan and others were allegedly attacked by cow vigilantes in Alwar on April 1 while they were on their way to Haryana after purchasing cattle in Rajasthan. Khan, a dairy farmer, succumbed to injuries two days later.
Khan and those along with him were attacked as the mob suspected them of illegally smuggling cattle.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)