The Rajasthan Police have filed a chargesheet for cow smuggling against Pehlu Khan, the dairy farmer who was beaten to death two years ago by a mob of gau rakshaks in Alwar for transporting cattle, and his two sons.
The chargesheet also names the owner of the pick-up truck that was used for transporting the cattle on April 1, 2017, when the lynching took place near Behror.
The latest chargesheet, in which Pehlu Khan has been posthumously charged, was prepared on December 30 last year, days after the new Congress government came into power in Rajasthan, and was presented in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Behror on May 29 this year.
The chargesheet accuses Khan and his sons under sections 5, 8 and 9 of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995 and Rules, 1995.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Khan’s eldest son Irshad (25), who is named in the chargesheet, said: “We lost our father in the attack by cow vigilantes and now we have been charged as cow smugglers. We had hoped that the new Congress government in Rajasthan will review and withdraw the case against us but now a chargesheet has been filed against us. We hoped for justice after the government change but that didn’t happen.”
Khan’s younger son, Aarif, has also been named in the chargesheet.
Last year, the previous BJP government in Rajasthan had filed a similar chargesheet against Azmat and Rafique, two associates of Khan who were also attacked by the mob that also targeted the truck driver Arjun. Jagdish Prasad, the owner of the pick-up, was also charged under Section 6 of the Act.
“After complete investigation in the matter, offences under section 5, 8, 9 RBA Act has been proved against accused Irshad, Aarif and Pehlu Khan while offences under Section 6 RBA Act has been proved against accused Khan Mohammed,” states the current chargesheet filed against FIR number 253/17 of Behror police station, Alwar.
In 2017, police filed two separate FIRs under the RBA Act because two separate pick-ups were attacked – one owned by Jagdish and driven by Arjun and in the second pick-up, owned by Mohammed, Pehlu Khan and his sons were aboard.
While one case was filed against Azmat, Rafique, Arjun and later Jagdish, in which the chargesheet was filed last year, a second FIR was filed against Pehlu Khan and his two sons.
In the second case, Mohammed was also made an accused after police found during the probe that he owned the pick-up in which Pehlu was travelling.
Section 5 of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995 and Rules, 1995 pertains to prohibition of the export of bovine animals for the purpose of slaughter and regulation of temporary migration or export for other purposes.
According to Section 6, the transporter is also an abettor and is liable for the same punishment as the person committing the offence. Section 8 is about the penalty for such offences while Section 9 mentions punishment for causing hurt to a bovine animal.