A group of retired IAS officers have written an “open letter” to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, demanding “justice” for Pehlu Khan who was lynched by cow vigilantes in the state’s Alwar district earlier this month. 23 such officers of the 1968 batch wrote the letter addressed to the Chief Minister yesterday wherein they have demanded a public statement from Raje over the incident. Khan, who hailed from Haryana, along with four others including his two sons was attacked by cow vigilantes in Alwar’s Behror on April 5 when he was allegedly transporting cows illegally. Brutally thrashed by the mob, 55-year-old Khan had died during treatment at a hospital, while his associates suffered injuries.
The former bureaucrats said the confidence in the government will be restored when the government arrests all those who attacked Khan, ends all vigilantism in the name of cow protection and punishes police/administrative personnel for dereliction in duty. “There has been a reprehensible attempt on the part of certain people in authority in Rajasthan as well as in the union government to deny this horrific incident, or to minimise its gravity. “Other authority figures have made themselves complicit this by their inaction and silence,” they alleged in the open letter. The officers who have signed the letter included activist Aruna Roy, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Narendra Singh Sisodia and others.
Meanwhile, other activists including PUCL general secretary Kavita Srivastava have also forwarded memorandums to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Raje “to curb violence in the name of cow protection”. The police have arrested several persons in connection with both the alleged illegal transportation of cows and the lynching of Pehlu Khan. Notably, Rajasthan Home Minister Kataria had said it was “alright” that some people caught those who were illegally transporting animals, while maintaining that “no one has the right to take the law in their own hands”.