In the first judgement in the Pehlu Khan mob lynching case, the Juvenile Justice Board [JJB] in Rajasthan's Alwar district on Friday, March 13, sentenced two minors to three years in a 'surakshit bal grah' (special home)
Both the minors were found guilty of being involved in the lynching last week by JJB's principal magistrate, Sarita Dhakad. She also criticised some doctors of the private hospital in Behror, for treating Khan's body like a "dummy."
"If there were actually no injuries on the body of the deceased, then the statements of the aforementioned doctors would have been alike. But because every doctor has given different statements, it appears that the doctors of Kailash Hospital treated the body of deceased Pehlu Khan as a dummy, wherein injuries were arbitrarily decided and inflicted injuries were arbitrarily treated as minimal. Such statements by the aforementioned doctors also cast suspicion on their medical conduct," Dhakad was quoted by The Indian Express.
Pehlu Khan was lynched in the daylight by self-proclaimed vigilante on suspicion of smuggling cows for slaughter on April 1, 2017. Khan, his two sons, and a few others were transporting cows from Jaipur when the mob intercepted them. He died two days later in the hospital on April 3.
A single bench of Justice Pankaj Bhandari had later dismissed the case on the basis that no evidence was found supporting the contention that cows were transported for slaughter. In August last year, six accused in Khan's murder were acquitted. However, the two minors were given the benefit of the doubt. The Rajasthan government had then received severe backlash for the judgement.
"We believe that after this judgement, the six accused let off earlier will be punished as well. They got off due to the negligence of the police and weak counsel, but this time we have hope," Khan's advocate, Qasim Khan was quoted by The New Indian Express.
Meanwhile, Adarsh Yadav, the amicus curiae in the case, has alleged that the pressure on government led to the punishment of minors. "We will appeal in the session court as the children's rights have been ignored. The 2 members in JJB have been appointed by the government. The minors were photographed in a mob of 100 people and six accused were let off," Yadav said.
"They can't be termed guilty just on the basis of being present in the photograph. The identification by the injured victims was not done. The government wants to punish these kids so that the earlier judgement looks weak," he added.Also Read: Rajasthan High Court Rejects Cow Smuggling Case Against Pehlu Khan, and Sons