The court did not accept the video footage of Pehlu Khan's lynching as evidence in the case.
Pehlu Khan lynching case verdict: A Rajasthan court today acquitted all six persons accused of beating Pehlu Khan to death in 2017. The entire incident, caught on camera, had sent shockwaves across the country and later went viral. However, the court ruled that the video of the lynching was not admissible evidence and gave the accused the benefit of doubt. The court acquitted all six lynching accused, Additional Public Prosecutor Yogendra Khatana said.
The verdict was pronounced by the court of the Additional District Judge in Alwar. While the six accused were cleared of charges, the two minor accused are facing charges in a juvenile court.
Head of Meo panchayat Sher Mohamed said that they would appeal against the court’s decision in the high court. Pehlu Khan belonged to the Meo Muslim community.
The trial concluded on August 7 and more than 40 witnesses, including Khan’s two sons who were accompanying him on the fateful day, deposed in the case. The police had registered an FIR against six men under various sections of the Indian Penal Code: 143 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 308 (culpable homicide), 379 (theft) and 427 (destruction of property). The charge of murder was added following Pehlu Khan’s death.
The police had also framed charges against Pehlu Khan under section 6 of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995. Police had also charge-sheeted Khan’s sons Irsad (25) and Arif (22).
Earlier, the police had given a clean chit to all six people accused in the Pehlu Khan lynching case based on the statements of the staff of a cow shelter and mobile phone records.
Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old native of Haryana’s Nuh, had left his village to purchase cattle in order to increase milk produce for Ramzan. Surrounded by a mob of cow vigilantes on the Delhi-Alwar highway on April 1, 2017, he tried to save himself by showing his purchase receipts, but was lynched with rods and sticks.