Last week I went to Behror. Pehlu Khan was beaten to death here two years ago. I wanted to see what had happened to the men who lynched him. I stopped first in the bazaar.… My next stop was the police station.… The officials I met seemed reluctant to talk about Pehlu Khan or his killers. Finally, in a room with peeling walls, a file was pulled from under a heap of other files, all wrapped in red cloth, and an official gave me the names of two of the men who were charged with murder. They were the only two from Behror, he said, and so I went in search of one of them. Vipin Yadav s/o Sanjay Yadav, resident of Nainsukh Mohalla.
I wandered through narrow alleys lined with dirty drains. Nobody seemed to know Vipin Yadav. They suggested I go to the courthouse. So I arrived in another ramshackle warren of rooms. Once more I was sent from room to room, official to official, without learning anything about the case or the killers. It was only when I drove four hours to Pehlu Khan’s village in Haryana and met his widow and son that I discovered that the reason why nobody wants to talk about the case is because justice is unlikely to ever be done.
Arif, a scrawny young man who was with his father when they were attacked, spoke in an emotionless voice. “We cannot go to Behror. Last time we tried to go for a hearing, gunmen fired at our car in Neemrana. They warned us not to try going any further. So our lawyer is now trying to get the case transferred to Alwar.”…
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