Home South Asia India Twitter explodes after Indian court acquits 6 accused in cow vigilante case

Twitter explodes after Indian court acquits 6 accused in cow vigilante case

The verdict instantly caused outrage, and many took to social media to voice their discontent while raising questions over the prosecution’s failure to make its case despite videos of a crowd beating the victim with rods and sticks in the street.

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News Desk |

An Indian court has acquitted six men allegedly accused of killing a 55-year-old Muslim dairy farmer for want of evidence in the face of video evidence showing “cow vigilantes” beating the victim with rods and sticks.

The verdict instantly caused outrage, and many took to social media to voice their discontent while raising questions over the prosecution’s failure to make its case despite videos of a crowd beating him in the street.

The April 1, 2017, attack on Pehlu Khan and his two sons in the western state of Rajasthan by a suspected mob of cow vigilantes caused public outrage and demands for swift action. However, two years after the violent and public murder of Khan, a court in Alwar, Rajasthan has acquitted all six accused of lynching the victim.

India’s Muslim minority engages in the trade of cattle for slaughter and consumption, chiefly of buffalo meat, as well as dairy purposes.

Videos shot on mobile phones showed Khan begging for mercy as the crowd set upon him after stopping his truck with cows in the back. He died but his sons survived.

Despite video evidence, the court acquitted the accused saying that the video, which went viral after the lynching, was not admissible evidence in court.

Prominent Indians Vent Anger over Acquittal

Some prominent Indians took to Twitter to vent their anger over the acquittal.

Read more: Indian Army unit booked in IOK after cattle trader shot

“Utterly Shameful! This is a lynching that was caught on camera!!! We live in a state of utter anarchy it seems.. the law, the constitution, even evidence it seems are meaningless. Dark dark times!! #PehluKhan,” said Swara Bhasker, an activist and a film actor.

Renowned poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar stated: “It is horrifying that those who were caught on a Video lynching a man have been set free The court rejected the video because Raj police had not verified it. Officers responsible should be sacked The video should get verified n govt of Raj should appeal in the higher court asap”.

President All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen & Member of Parliament Lok Sabha, Asaduddin Owaisi, slammed the decision and questioned did no one kill Pehlu Khan?

It’s a judgment of a court of law & we must respect it, but the government has a duty to prosecute effectively, he said, adding that the government must file an appeal and seek a conviction, sentencing in a time-bound manner.

Shama Mohamed, a spokeswoman for India’s opposition Congress party, branded the court decision “a gross travesty of justice”.

In Hindu-majority India, many consider cows sacred and killing the animal is outlawed in most states. On the other hand, India’s Muslim minority engages in the trade of cattle for slaughter and consumption, chiefly of buffalo meat, as well as dairy purposes.

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