The Rajasthan Police on Monday suspended an assistant sub-inspector and sent three other constables to police lines for “delay” in taking Rakbar alias Akbar Khan, who was allegedly lynched by a mob on suspicion of cow smuggling, to a hospital, officials said.
The action was taken after a video purportedly showing Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohan Singh, who was posted at the Ramgarh police station, admitting to his “mistake”, went viral.
“Mere se galti hogai... kaise bhi maan lo.. saja de do ya chhodh do... seedhi si baat hai (I made a mistake... punish me or pardon me... it is simple and straight),” the ASI can be heard purportedly saying in the video.
A four-member committee, constituted by the Rajasthan Police to look into the delay in taking 28-year-old Khan to the hospital, suspended the ASI and shifted three other constables to police lines, Special Director General of Police (law and order) NRK Reddy said at a press conference in Alwar.
“There was an error in the judgement in trying to respond to the situation. The preliminary investigation suggested there was an error in prioritising the situation,” Reddy said.
The committee comprised special DGP (law and order) N R K Reddy, Additional DGP (CID-Crime Branch) P K Singh, Inspector General (Jaipur Range) Hemant Priyadarshi and state nodal officer (cow vigilance) Mahendra Singh Chaudhary, state Director General of Police O P Galhotra said.
The inquiry is in addition to the overall probe that has been given to additional superintendent of police-rank officer.
While two persons, Dharmendra Yadav and Paramjeet Singh, were arrested on Saturday, a third accused, Naresh Singh, was nabbed on Monday and they are under police custody for five days, police said.
“There are certain allegations that the local police had beaten up Khan and delayed in taking him to hospital, which are being looked into,” SP (Alwar) Rajendra Singh said.
The video of the ASI surfaced hours after allegations that the Alwar police delayed by nearly three hours the shifting of Khan to the Ramgarh community healthcare centre.
The incident was reported to the police at 12.41 am on Saturday. Police reached there at 1.15 am, but they reached the hospital, which is nearly 4 km away from the scene of crime, with Khan at 4.00 am, where he was declared brought dead, as per police and hospital records.
Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria earlier in the day said that appropriate action would be taken if there was any negligence on the part of police.
“Three-four accused have been arrested in the case. I have also come to know that police took Khan to police station and then took him to hospital after three hours.
“I have asked the DGP to send a committee to look into the matter. We will take action if there was any negligence on the part of the police in dealing with the case,” Kataria said.
However, a Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Rajasthan’s Nagaur has defended the police, saying it would be “unfair” to target them.
C R Chaudhary said, “It is not like that. Police did its work. Police have arrested the accused and took the injured to the hospital immediately. Sometimes, media does not give proper message. I don’t think that police lacked in its action.”
Khan, along with his friend Aslam, was taking cows to their villages in Haryana through a forest area in the Ramgarh area of Alwar, where they were caught by the mob. Aslam had managed to flee.
As per the FIR registered with the Ramgarh police station on Saturday, Naval Kishore Sharma, the chief of the VHP’s ‘Gau Raksha’ cell in Ramgarh, had informed the police at 12.41 am (on Saturday) about the incident.
Police reached the spot at 1.15 am. Khan’s statement was recorded and he was taken to the police station. As per the CHC entry register, a body of a 28-year-old man was brought at 4.00 am.
Questioning the role of the police, Ramgarh MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja has demanded a judicial inquiry to find out if Khan was lynched by the mob or beaten to death by the police.
Following the allegation, the probe into the alleged lynching incident was handed over to additional SP (Crime and Vigilance), Jaipur Range, yesterday.
“The investigation will be carried out in a fair and transparent manner,” IG, Jaipur Range, Hemant Priyadarshi had said.
Meanwhile, the police investigation has revealed the past record of the victim.
On December 30, 2014, Nauganwa police station in Alwar had registered a case against Khan under Sections 5 (prohibits the export of bovine animals for slaughter) and 8 (penalty for contravention of Section 5) of the Rajasthan Bovine Animal Act, after allegedly retrieving two cows from him.
Nauganwa police station Station House Officer Mohan Singh said a ‘challan’ was filed in the 2014 case.