Rajasthan government forms SIT to probe police investigation into Pehlu case

JAIPUR: Facing outrage over the acquittal of six accused in the Pehlu Khan lynching case, the Rajasthan government late Friday night formed a three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the lapses in police investigations. The SIT was asked to submit its report within 15 days. Pehlu was allegedly lynched in 2017 by cow vigilantes who accused him of smuggling cattle.

The SIT will be headed by DIG (special operations group) Nitin Deep Blaggan. It will include SP (crime branch) Sameer Kumar Singh and additional SP (vigilance) Sameer Kumar Dubey. It will work under the supervision of additional DGP (crime) B L Soni.

The SIT’s mandate includes collecting evidence that the earlier probe team had failed to gather. The government decided to engage a senior lawyer to challenge the acquittals in a higher court.

The government had drawn flak, including allegations of the police deliberately leaving loopholes to shield the accused. CM Ashok Gehlot on Friday presided over a series of meetings with top officials from the home and law departments, weighing upon the probable options — legally and administratively.
Additional district judge Sarita Swami had noted in her order on Wednesday that the police probe had serious shortcomings and the accused had a right to the benefit of doubt. “Neither the video on the basis of which the accused were chargesheeted, nor the phone on which the video was shot seized and produced before the court. This shows serious negligence by the investigating officer,” the judge had noted.
BSP chief Mayawati on Friday lashed out against the Rajasthan government for the acquittals in the Pehlu Khan lynching case. “It’s due to the inaction of Congress government that the six were let off,” she said.
Source: Times of India