While Rajasthan is facing a contempt notice from Supreme Court for failing to follow orders against cow vigilantes, the state police chargesheet, in the case in which Haryana dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was beaten to death, names two of his companions, Azmat and Rafeeq, as accused and concludes that all three had indulged in ‘cow smuggling’ under state laws.
The chargesheet was filed by Alwar police in the court of the Behror additional chief judicial magistrate on January 24, reported The India Express (IE).
The chargesheet said Azmat and Rafeeq could not produce a ravanna (receipt obtained from cattle market) or the transport permit for the four cows, including two calves, they were transporting, reported The Hindustan Times (HT).
Similar charges have been brought against the pick-up owner and his driver son, the HT reported.
Earlier, Rajasthan police investigation concluded that the six persons named by Pehlu Khan before dying were not guilty, citing mobile location details of the six men along with statements of policemen and testimonies of the staff of a local cow shelter in Behror to say that none of the six were present at the time of the attack.
Pehlu Khan, 55, and others were allegedly attacked by gau rakshaks in Alwar on April 1 while they were on their way to Haryana after purchasing cattle in Rajasthan. Khan, a dairy farmer, succumbed to his injuries two days later.
Before his death in the hospital, Khan was able to give the police a statement naming the six men who assaulted him. Khan’s statement named “Hukum Chand, Navin Sharma, Jagmal Yadav, Om Prakash, Sudheer and Rahul Saini” as his assailants, said IE.
After the release of the six men named by Khan, The Wire cited Irshad Khan saying that, “this is absolutely wrong. We don’t accept the investigation at all. Those men were RSS and Bajrang Dal agents and that’s the reason why the government is protecting them.”
Under the Rajasthan bovine animal act, a permit from the district collector or an authorised officer is needed to take cattle out of the state.
When police checked the cattle market records, they found that Azmat had purchased the animals. But in the absence of the permit, the two, along with the driver Arjun Lal Yadav, have been charged with smuggling the animals for slaughter, the charge sheet says.
The HT report quoted Alwar sub-divisional officer Baldev Ram Bhojak as saying, “The JMC (Jaipur municipal corporation) must be issuing the permits. I have never issued any.”
However, media reports quoted Azmat as saying, “We were pulled out and beaten with sticks, belts and other weapons for a long time. They also tore the transportation permit we got from Jaipur municipal corporation.”