Alwar, Aug 14 : A local court in Rajasthan on Wednesday acquitted six out of the nine accused in 2017 Pehlu Khan lynching case, while giving them the benefit of the doubt.
The remaining three accused are minors and are facing proceedings in a juvenile court.
Additional district & sessions judge Sarita Swami pronounced the judgment in a packed courtroom in the presence of the accused, who were earlier released on bail at various stages during the trial. The arguments from both the sides were completed on August 7.
Forty-four witnesses, including Khan’s two sons Irshad and Aarif, had deposed in the case, registered under Sections 302 (murder), 147 (rioting) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code.
The chargesheet was submitted in a court in Behror, but the trial was later shifted to Alwar.
Reacting to the judgment, Additional Public Prosecutor Yogendra Khatana said that the state government would file an appeal in the Rajasthan High Court after studying the judgment.
At the same time, defence counsel Hukum Chand Sharma welcomed the decision and said that this decision will increase the dignity of the judiciary. He also alleged that the police implicated all the accused in the false case.
On April 1, 2017, Pehlu Khan and his sons were transporting cows, after purchasing them in a cattle fair in Jaipur, to their hometown Nuh in Haryana, when they were allegedly beaten up by some people on the accusation of smuggling cattle.
Khan was admitted to the hospital where he died after two days.
Police had earlier given a clean chit to all six people accused of lynching Pehlu Khan. The police's decision was reportedly based on statements of the staff of a cow shelter and mobile phone records.
After registering the murder case, the police had also lodged the cases with the cow smuggling charges against Khan, his sons and other companions.
The state congress government also faced criticism recently after a charge-sheet, filed against Irshad, Aarif and a truck operator Khan Mohammed, also named Khan as an accused even after his death.(UNI)