BJP MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja on Monday said he had no regrets over the death of Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer who was beaten to death allegedly by cow vigilantes in Alwar. Speaking to reporters outside the Rajasthan Assembly, Alwar MLA Ahuja said, “Kanoon humko haath mein nahi lena chahiye. Lekin uski maut hui. Uske liye humko koi afsosh nahi hai. Aur afsosh karoonga bhi nahi kyunki jo gau taskar hain, gau hatyare hain, aise paapiyon ka yehi harsh hota raha hai, hota rahega (We should not take law into our hands. But we have no regret over his death because those who are cow-smugglers are cow-killers, sinners like them have met this fate earlier and will continue to do so).”
Targeting the Congress for raising the issue of Khan’s death in the Assembly, Ahuja said, “Bilkul gau-taskar tha, uske hamare paas sabut hain, ab ye Congressi kyun chilla-pon kar rahe hain, itni tushtikaran ki neeti apna rahe hain, aur raag alaap rahe hain unhi logon ke liye jo desh ke ghaddar hain, ye Congressi desh ke ghaddaron ka puraskar dena chahte hain, aur desh bhakton ka tiraskar karna chahte hain, gau-taskaron ka gau-hatyaron ka samarthan kar rahe hain (Definitely he was a smuggler and we have proof of that. Why are these Congressmen crying foul, using their policy of appeasement and singing praises for the very people who are traitors of this country. They want to reward traitors and insult patriots, they are supporting cow-smugglers and killers).”
Meanwhile, civil society organisations led by PUCL began a three-day sit-in outside the Assembly seeking justice for Khan. The protesters submitted a memorandum to PM Narendra Modi and CM Vasundhara Raje. The memo to Raje was signed by 23 IAS officers of the 1968 batch, including former IAS officer and writer Harsh Mander.
The issue resonated inside the Assembly too. The House had to be adjourned for an hour after opposition MLAs objected to Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria calling Khan a smuggler.
Kataria defended his remarks after Leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi questioned the home minister’s choice of words. He also accused the Congress of fanning embers to generate conflict. Congress MLAs then stormed the well in protest, leading to the adjournment.
Outside the Assembly, Ahuja said, “Why was he (Khan) beaten up… when they were caught, his son and his Meo brothers were sitting and laughing… the reason he (Khan) was beaten up was because he tried to escape by running into the fields… and there was a mob… and a mob is a mob. It doesn’t reason. So this was not a planned assault.”