Four people were sentenced to 7 years in prison by a Rajasthan court today for killing a farmer over the suspicion of cattle smuggling in 2018.
Rakbar Khan and his friend Aslam were attacked by a mob of cow vigilantes in Rajasthan’s Alwar in July 2018, when they were taking their two cows home.
Rakbar was beaten with sticks and stones while his friend managed to escape.
The four men – Dharmendra Yadav, Paramjeet, Vijay Kumar and Naresh Kumar have been held guilty under the charges of culpable homicide and wrongful restraint.
One person, however, was let off by the court over lack of evidence.
“Nawal Kishore has been acquitted on account of insufficient evidence against him,” Ashok Sharma, Special Public Prosecutor, said.
The police had taken Rakbar Khan to a hospital after a delay of about three hours. By that time, the 31-year-old was dead.
Before making it to the hospital with a wounded and bleeding Rakbar, the policemen allegedly arranged to transport his cows to a shelter, gave him a wash to “clean the mud” off him, and also took a tea and snacks break.
A photograph of Rakbar Khan sitting inside a police car had raised questions about the role of the police in the attack. The photo had been circulated by Naval Kishore, the man who had placed a call to the police about the attack and accompanied them for most of their three-hour journey through the area before Rakbar Khan was taken to the hospital.
Naval Kishore had said that the man was fine before he was taken to the police station – their last stop before he was taken to the hospital at 4 am.
A woman witness, Maya, had told NDTV that the police were “beating the man in the vehicle and abusing him”.
The incident had led to an outcry over the alleged delay by the cops in taking Rakbar Khan to the hospital. A judicial probe was also ordered by then Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria – who said that the man may have lived had the police taken him to hospital immediately, instead of taking the cows to a shelter first.
Rakbar Khan’s autopsy report had stated that he died of shock as a result of his injuries.
“There were injuries on the body… internal bleeding lead to the death,” said Rajeev Gupta, one of the doctors who performed the autopsy.