Alwar lynching: The killing of a man in Rajasthan's Alwar by a mob on the mere suspicion of cow smuggling has once again put the government in a spot over its failure in checking such crimes.
Alwar lynching: The killing of a man in Rajasthan’s Alwar by a mob on the mere suspicion of cow smuggling has once again put the government in a spot over its failure in checking such crimes. The killing of Akbar Khan alias Rakbar, 28, took place in the same district a year after Pehlu Khan was lynched by a mob on the same suspicion. While one police officer has been suspended, two others have been shunted to Police Lines after a preliminary investigation pointed out that there were lapses on the part of the police.
A photo now doing the rounds on the internet that shows Akbar sitting inside a police van has deepened the mystery with many raising doubts that he may have died in police custody. Rabkar, a native of Haryana, and his companion were going to Ramgarh in Alwar with two cows on foot when villagers intercepted them and attacked them. Earlier it was reported that Rakbar died on the spot but a photo clicked by an eyewitness, Naval Kishore, who had called the police, shows him sitting inside a police van and without grievous injuries.
Kishore said that he had accompanied the police and departed after police stopped mid-way for tea. According to him, the attack on Akbar and his accomplice had taken place at 1 pm but the victim was taken to the community health centre, which was just 20 minutes away from the incident site, at 4 pm.
The latest findings in the case have put the police in a spot that filed an FIR in the case stating that Akbar was taken to the community centre directly from the spot and was declared brought dead by the doctor. The police have also admitted that there was a delay in transporting the victim to the hospital, adding that a high-level committee has been formed to probe why this delay happened and a detailed report will be submitted to the government only after a thorough investigation.
Alwar lynching: Here’s what has happened so far in the case:
1. Rakbar declared brought dead at hospital
Two men including Akbar were attacked by a mob in Alwar late on Friday when they were enroute to Ramgarh on foot with two cows. Villagers thought that the two were cow smugglers and intercepted them. Akbar and his accomplice were beaten up by the villagers. Naval Kishore, an eyewitness, called the police to inform about the incident. The police came to the rescue of the Akbar and made him sit inside the police van. According to Naval, he had accompanied them for most of their three-hour long journey in the area before Akbar was taken to a community health centre where he was declared brought dead.
2. What FIR states
Police then filed an FIR which clearly shows that Akbar was taken to the community health centre directly from the crime scene where he was declared dead. But according to Naval’s version, who also clicked the photo of Akbar sitting inside the police van, the victim was fine and had not suffered grieveous injuries. Naval said that he had parted his ways when the police stopped mid-way for a tea break. Naval said that he might have been tortured by the police before being taken to the hospital.
3. Lapses on part of local police
A day after media reports pointed it out, Rajasthan police accepted that there was a delay in transporting the victim to the hospital and set up a high-level team to probe the delay. NRK Reddy, Special Director General of Police told news agency ANI that an investigation found lapses on police’s part in providing medical relief to the victim. Reddy, however, added he has no information regarding the victim being thrashed in the police custody. “We have no information yet about the victim being thrashed in custody, but yes, prima facie we have found that there was indeed an error in judgement in deciding what was important at that point.”
4. Akbar Khan thrashed in police custody?
Naval Kishore said that Akbar looked absolutely fine in the photo he clicked. “See I took this picture in the police vehicle. See, he looks fine,” Naval said, adding that Akbar was fine before being taken to the police station — their last stop before he was rushed to a hospital 4 pm. He said that Akbar was taken to a hospital which was barely 20 minutes away from the site where was attacked by a mob at 1 pm. Naval said that he then took both the cows to a local shed.
5. Victim’s friend says attackers were BJP MLA’s men
The second person who was with Akbar, Aslam (28), escaped from the spot. Later in a written police complaint, he said that he had heard the assailants saying that they enjoy the support of local BJP MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja. The MLA has, however, denied the charge.
6. Congress blames BJP
The matter was raised by the opposition parties who accused the government of not bringing perpetrators of the crime to book. The killing took place days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Lok Sabha urged the states to take strict action in such cases. Local Congress MP Karan S Yadav accused the BJP of orchestrating such crime. “Police and cow vigilantes are hands in glove in this matter. It was the duty of the police to take him to the hospital immediately. Police have played a suspicious role. This is a case of not only mass lynching but also custodial death.”
7. One suspended, two transferred to Police Lines
The state police on its part said that initial findings show lapses on part of the officials. While one official has been suspended, two others were shunted to the Police Lines. The suspended official has been identified as Assistant sub-inspector Mohan Singh. The two others are constables. Police said that a high-level team has been formed to probe why the day happened in taking the victim to a hospital. Police said that a detailed report will be submitted to the government after completion of the probe.
8. GoM set up by Home Ministry
The Home Ministry on Monday evening sought a detailed report from the Rajasthan government. The Centre also announced that a GoM has been set up under Home Minister Rajnath Singh and a high-level committee under Home Secretary that has been tasked to deliberate and make recommendations regarding a separate penal provision in such cases. The panel headed by Home Secretary will submit its report to the GoM within four weeks of which Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Thaawar Chand Gehlot are members. The GoM will then make final recommendations to the Prime Minister.
9. Autopsy says Akbar died of ‘shock’
Meanwhile, the autopsy report of Akbar has revealed that he died of shock and injuries from a blunt weapon or object. “There were injuries on the body … internal bleeding lead to the death,” Rajeev Gupta, one of the doctors who performed the autopsy, said. There were also seven to eight fractures on his body. According to the victim’s family, Akbar was beaten up brutally and the bone in his neck was broken.
10. Will bring law if needed: Rajnath
The matter resonated in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. In the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government is not just concerned but have taken lynching incidents very seriously. “The government on Monday formed a panel that would suggest measures to stop mob violence in the country. The Home Secretary-led panel would give its recommendations to a Group of Ministers within four weeks. We will also bring a law if that is required.” Attacking the Congress, he said, “This didn’t start only recently, the incidents of lynching have been going on since years. I have said this earlier too, the biggest mob lynching is, what happened in 1984.”