Seeking Justice For Hate Crimes In Rajasthan: Fearful Witnesses, Transfer Pleas, Police Inaction

In September 2018, Irshad Khan was on his way to the district court in Behror in Alwar district, when masked men in a car without a number-plate approached his vehicle and fired in the air. Irshad was on his way to testify in the murder trial of his father, Pehlu Khan, who had been attacked in April 2017 by a group of cow vigilantes while transporting cows from a cattle fair in Jaipur.

Irshad never reached court that day. “They wanted to frighten us,” he told FactChecker on a recent February day. “We approached the police and told them what had happened. Later we saw on the news that the police said we were lying about being attacked.”

Irshad filed an FIR (first information report with the police), but the police said there was no CCTV evidence of the alleged attack. Seeking justice after a hate crime in Rajasthan is fraught with such suspicions and misgivings, giving rise to a maze of allegations and counter-allegations that are difficult to unravel and rarely end in closure for the purported victims.…