By Indian American Muslim Council
IAMC is pleased to have been an active supporter of the momentous fact-finding investigation of the gruesome mob lynching of dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, and the subsequent cover-up by Rajasthan police. The investigation’s report was endorsed by IAMC and several human rights organizations in India, US and UK and is making waves in India for its shocking expose of police complicity in cow terrorism.
The report’s release was the culminated of a four-month investigation by independent journalist Ajit Sahi. During the press conference organized at the Press Club of India in the nation’s capital New Delhi, human rights defenders and activists referred to the report’s findings as a watershed moment in the struggle to bring Pehlu’s killers to justice. The report highlights the role played by the Rajasthan Police in systematically sabotaging the case against the perpetrators of Pehlu’s cold-blooded murder and facilitating their “exoneration.” The report is a powerful declaration by human rights defenders that the pursuit of justice will not be deterred. Widespread coverage of the report and the press conference has again brought Pehlu’s brutal killing, and the subsequent cover-up by the Rajasthan police back into the national conversation in India.
The report has exposed blatant acts by the Rajasthan police and government institutions that has led to an intentional miscarriage of justice, with the killers not being arrested despite six of them being named in Pehlu’s “dying declaration.”
The report and its impact on mainstream discourse in India has given a boost to Indian civil society as well as the Indian Muslim community to stay the course in demanding justice and equality before the law within the framework of the Constitution of India. Additionally, it has encouraged all in the pursuit of justice to push forward with other cases of lynching such as those perpetrated against Hafiz Junaid and Mohammed Akhlaq.
The press conference with India’s top human rights advocates exposed the high level coordination and strategy used by cow vigilantes (gau rakshaks). It also demonstrated complicity between criminals and fanatics and individuals at the highest levels of state law enforcement machinery.
The press conference and the ensuing social media campaign following the report’s release has put Indian Muslim issues on the global radar and influenced mainstream discourse in a positive direction. IAMC remains committed to the struggle for peace, pluralism and justice.