[Pehlu Khan’s mother, sitting on Dharna demanding justice for Alwar victim, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. (File photo: Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)]
Alwar (Rajasthan): Rajasthan police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Wednesday cleared the six men named by Pehlu Khan as his attackers in a dying declaration hours before he succumbed to his injuries in a local hospital.
The state police's decision to clear and withdraw the names of the accused is being widely criticised with the son of Pehlu Khan saying that he will file an appeal in court.
The state CID-Crime Branch, which took over investigations in July, has concluded that the six men were not present when Pehlu Khan was attacked. The police have said that these six men are also not seen in photos or video footage of the attack and that their mobile phone records show they were about 4 km away during the attack.
Irshad Khan, the son of Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old dairy farmer who was lynched by cow vigilantes in Rajasthan in April this year, has said he will appeal in court against the police's decision to remove the names of six men as suspects in his father's murder.
Irshad Khan, who was with him when he was attacked, told NDTV, "I was with my father, these men called out to each other by name. These six men were stopped us first and began beating us up."
“No one killed Pehlu Khan, no one killed Akhlaq, no one killed Junaid, no one killed Gauri Lankesh. This is our new India,” wrote Aftab Raushan on Twitter, reacting to the closure of investigation against the six men named by Pehlu Khan.
People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), which has been campaigning for justice to the family of Pehlu Khan, has accused the state government’s Home Minister and CID-CB—which had been probing the matter, of protecting the accused. “We’re going to fight it out legally and on the street,” PUCL president Kavita Srivastava told National Herald.
She alleged that all the accused happen to be the office-bearers of right-wing Hindutva groups.
“The civil rights groups and Pehlu Khan's sons, who were also complainants in the police case, would challenge the CID-CB's closure of investigation in the court,” she added.
Reacting on the police probe, Omar Abdullah, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said, "How foolish to expect anyone would be found guilty of murder! #PehluKhan committed suicide & staged the lynching to make a dramatic exit."
In his reaction, Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM Chief, said, "Pehlu khan was killed by Aliens frm Mars wearing helmets, not by Gau rakshak so BJP govt gives clean chit all Accused,what Modi said a JUMLA."