Protests in Jharkhand and Delhi demanding justice for Pehlu Khan

On 3 May 2017 (National Protest Day) protests were organized at Ranchi, Ramgarh, Lohardaga, Koderma, Garhwa and other districts in Jharkhand. It will be remembered that Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer from Haryana who had gone to Jaipur to purchase cattle, was returning home with his cows when he and his family were attacked by cow terrorists (so-called Gau Rakshaks). All the victims were seriously injured and Pehlu Khan died on 3 April.

In Ramgarh a protest march was taken out from the CPI (ML) district Party office to demand- (i) arrest of the cow terrorist goons who have been named in the FIR, (ii) Rs 1 crore compensation to Pehlu Khan’s family, (iii) monetary compensation for Ajmat Khan and Rafiq Khan, (iv) putting an end to the communal frenzy and killings openly being orchestrated across the country in the name of Gau-Raksha, (v) arrest of Gau goons and (vi) ban on organizations operating in the name of ‘Gau-Raksha’. A memorandum with the above demands was submitted to the Chief Minister of Rajasthan through the Deputy Commissioner, Ramgarh district.

Protest marches were also held in Jhumri Talaiyya (Koderma), Garhwa and Lohardaga. A street meeting and signature campaign against Pehlu Khan’s lynching was organized at Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi city.

In Giridih district a padyatra was undertaken from 1 to 3 May in various villages to expose the cow goons’ terrorism, relating the issue to other people’s issues.
May 3, marked one month of Pehlu Khan’s murder by the Gau Rakshak goons at Alwar in Rajasthan. Pehlu Khan’s murder is one of the series of such killings and assaults by these goons and since Pehlu Khan’s killing several others have been killed or assaulted in Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar and Assam. Demanding justice for Pehlu Khan and all other victims of these goons, a joint protest was called by AISA, AIPWA, ANHAD, Delhi Solidarity, NAPM, NFIW, PUCL, Right to Food Campaign, Satark Nagrik Sangathan and other groups. A mass delegation gathered at Bikaner House near Rajasthan. A joint memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister of Rajasthan via the Resident Commissioner of Rajasthan at Bikaner House. The memorandum condemned the Rajasthan Home Minister for tacitly condoning the killing and encouraging more such murderous assaults by terming Pehlu Khan a gautaskar (cow smuggler).

The following demands were made through the memorandum: 1. Justice for Pehlu Khan, Azmat Khan, Rafiq Khan and others; 2. Immediate arrest of those named in the FIR; 3. 1 crore compensation to the family of Pehlu Khan and 25 lakhs and 10 lakhs as compensation to Azmat Khan and Rafiq Khan; 4. End to all violence in name of cow protection and eliminating of all such mobs indulging in violence across the country.

The memorandum also questioned the Rajasthan state government’s decision to deny permission to peaceful protests in Alwar on the day.