Justice for the mob: On Pehlu Khan case verdict

Justice for the mob: On Pehlu Khan case verdict

Acquittal in the emblematic case of Pehlu Khan’s murder imperils the country’s image
It is a sign of the times that vigilante(सजग) mobs(भीड़) can get away with daylight murder. Even after visual(दृश्य ) evidence(प्रमाण) becomes available; and even when the victim(पीड़ित ) names his assailants(हमलावरों) in a dying declaration(ऐलान). The acquittal(दोषमुक्ति/रिहाई) of all those charged by the Rajasthan police with beating(पिटाई ) dairy farmer Pehlu Khan to death in April 2017 is a stark(कठोर/कड़ा) reminder that there is a humongous(विनम्र ) gap(अंतराल) between capturing video footage of a man being beaten up and bringing(लाना) the culprits(दोषियों ) to book. The Additional District Judge of Alwar has given the benefit(लाभ) of doubt to the six men charged with Khan’s murder. A principal reason given is that the six persons named by Khan were not charge-sheeted(आरोप पत्र दाखिल) by the police. It seems that the derailment(पटरी से उतारना) of the prosecution(अभियोजन ) case (मामला)began early. Based on mobile phone call records and the statement of staff at a cow shelter, the police gave a clean sheet to the named suspects and booked a different set of people, including(सहित) three minors(नाबालिगों ). The police failed to conduct(आचरण) an identification(पहचान ) parade, while there was an apparent(स्पष्ट ) contradiction(विरोधाभास) between government doctors declaring that the victim(पीड़ित ) died of injuries(चोटों), and a private hospital’s claim that the cause(कारण ) was “cardiac arrest”(हृदय गति रुकना). It is not difficult to surmise(शंका/अनुमान) that infirmities (दुर्बलता/अदृढ़ता) were built into the case in advance. The court also need not have held inadmissible(अस्वीकार्य) the footage of the incident(घटना), as the Supreme Court had ruled last year that authentic and relevant electronic evidence can be accepted even in the absence of the required certification under the Evidence Act.

Last year, Jharkhand managed to obtain(प्राप्त) convictions(विश्वास ) in two cases of lynching(हत्या/बिना मुकदमे मार डालना), but the Pehlu Khan lynching case had emblematic(प्रतीकात्मक ) significance(प्रतीकात्मक ). It was vital (महत्वपूर्ण )that it was properly(ठीक से) investigated( जांच की गई) and the culprits(अपराधियों) convicted(सजा ). Unfortunately(दुर्भाग्य से, ), the wholesale acquittal(रिहाई) is a setback to combating(विरोध करना) the rampant(अनियंत्रित/उग्र) vigilantism of our times. Each such incident imperils India’s image as a modern democracy. There is ample(प्रचुर ) evidence to suggest that the institutional bias in favour of cow vigilantes is working against the interest of justice. The CID-Crime Branch took over the case two months after the incident, and filed a charge sheet. Those charge-sheeted were granted bail not long after. Even after the change of regime late last year, the police obtained permission(अनुमति) to prosecute(मुकदमा ) two sons of Pehlu Khan for transporting bovines in violation(उल्लंघन ) of a State law. This indicates(प्रकट करना/संकेत करना) the assiduity(तत्परता/तत्परता) with which cattle protection(सुरक्षा) laws are implemented, while lynch mobs in the garb of cow protectors are treated with kid gloves. The Rajasthan Chief Minister, who recently got a new expansive law enacted to punish lynching, has promised to take the matter on appeal. A mere appeal may not suffice(पर्याप्त); orders for a fresh investigation and trial — one that would lead to the formal indictment(अभियोग/कलंक) of all those responsible(जिम्मेदार) for the “murderous attack(जानलेवा हमले) — may be needed to restore a sense of justice.

 

Important Vocabulary

 

1. Combating(विरोध करना)
Synonyms: cope, fight, oppose, repel, resist
Antonyms: support, surrender, yield, agree, give in

2. Mobs(भीड़)
Synonyms: clan, crowd, flock, gang, horde
Antonyms: individual, single

3. Evidence(प्रमाण)
Synonyms: clue, confirmation, data, deposition, documentation
Antonyms: concealment, denial, hiding, contradiction, disproof

4,Humongous(विनम्र )
Synonyms: immense, prodigious
Antonyms: small, tiny

5, Contradiction(विरोधाभास
Synonyms: conflict, difference, disagreement, discrepancy, dispute
Antonyms: accord, agreement, concurrence, consistency, harmony

6. Inadmissible(अस्वीकार्य)
Synonyms: immaterial, improper, inappropriate, irrelevant, objectionable
Antonyms: OK, acceptable, appropriate, desirable, fitting

7. Infirmities (दुर्बलता/अदृढ़ता)
Synonyms: affliction, ailment, deficiency, frailty, ill health
Antonyms: health, perfection, ability, , advantage, improvement

8. Convicted(सजा
Synonyms: condemn, imprison, sentence, adjudge, attaint
Antonyms: free, release, exonerate, liberate

9. Rampant(अनियंत्रित/उग्र)
Synonyms: excessive, flagrant, growing, prevalent, raging
Antonyms: gentle, mild, moderate, moral, restrained

10. Indictment(अभियोग/कलंक
Synonyms: allegation, arraignment, bill, charge. citation
Antonyms: praise, absolution, acquittal, exoneration

11. Indicates(प्रकट करना/संकेत करना)
Synonyms: announce, argue, demonstrate, express, hint
Antonyms: conceal, deny, hide, lose, refuse

12. Acquittal(रिहाई) 
Synonyms: absolution, amnesty, clearance, deliverance, discharge
Antonyms: employment, hiring, hold, retention, blame

13.Combating(विरोध करना)
Synonyms: cope, fight, oppose, repel, resist
Antonyms: support, surrender, yield,agree, give in


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