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JAIPUR: After five years of the crime, a local court in Rajasthan’s Alwar on Thursday convicted four accused of culpable homicide for the death of Rakbar Khan, who was lynched after being intercepted by vigilantes while transporting cows

The convicted have been sentenced to seven years in prison.

A Muslim dairy farmer from Haryana, Rakbar Khan, on suspicion of smuggling cows near Lalawandi village was brutally lynched in July 2018.

Meanwhile, the fifth accused, a VHP member Nawal Kishore Sharma, whom the family accused as the main suspect, was acquitted on account of lack of evidence.

This is the first conviction by a court in a case of violence by cow vigilantes in the State.

The convicts were identified as Dharmendra Yadav, Paramjeet Sardar, Vijay Kumar and Naresh Kumar.

A fifth accused, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) member Nawal Kishore Sharma, whom the family accused as the main suspect behind the attack, was acquitted on account of “insufficient evidence.”

Earlier, all the six accused in the infamous Pehlu Khan lynching case of 2017, caught on camera, were earlier acquitted by the court, which gave them the benefit of doubt on the basis of “contradictions” in the investigation and the prosecution’s evidence.

Khan, who was 28 years old, was fatally assaulted in the early hours of July 21, 2018, when he and a friend were transporting two cows in Alwar and were attacked by a so-called cow protection gang.

While his friend Aslam escaped, Khan was caught, assaulted, and handed over to local police, where the family accused of denying him life-saving medical attention on time.

Thursday’s pronouncements came as a disappointment to Khan’s family, who said that the four men have not been held guilty for murder and are instead convicted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder – the distinction between the two has to do with “intention”, with murder established only if an intention has been established.

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