New Delhi: In a wide U-turn, Rajasthan Police has filed a chargsheeted against Pehlu Khan, the dairy farmer, who was lynched by a mob in Alwar in 2017- for cow smuggling.

The chargesheet against Pehlu Khan and his sons is 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.

Pehlu Khan and his two sons were gheraoed by a mob of cow vigilantes or gau rakshaks in Rajasthan’s Alwar on April 1, 2017, while they were ferrying their cattle and beaten to pulp on suspicion of cow smuggling. Khan then succumbed to his injuries two days later.

Reacting to this, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, “Investigation of this case was done in the past during BJP government and chargesheet was presented. If any discrepancies will be found in the investigation, the case will be re-investigated.”

An Indian Express report quoted Khan’s eldest son Irshad (25), “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.”

Earlier last year, unidentified assailants had opened fire at a car in Irshad, and other key witnesses in the 2017 case were travelling in.

They were on their way to a court in Rajasthan’s Behrod for a hearing in the case of Pehlu Khan lynched by a mob on the suspicion of smuggling cows.

Irshad then lodged a complaint in Alwar alleging “some unidentified miscreants opened fire on their car while they were on their way to Behrod to appear for a hearing”.

APRIL 1, 2017 

Pehlu Khan (55) and his sons were returning from a cattle fair near Jaipur on April 1, 2017, and were on their way to Haryana when they were attacked by a mob of cow vigilantes in Alwar’s Behror.

Khan succumbed to his injuries two days later and a video of the lynching went viral, causing nationwide outrage.