Lynching by cow vigilantes: Justice not meted out, rues Rakbar Khan's widow : The Tribune India

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Lynching by cow vigilantes: Justice not meted out, rues Rakbar Khan's widow

Lynching by cow vigilantes:  Justice not meted out, rues Rakbar Khan's widow

Family of Rakbar Khan (inset) mourning his death. Tribune file



Tribune News Service

Geetanjali Gayatri

Chandigarh, May 26

The seven-year jail term for four Rajasthan cow vigilantes for lynching Rakbar Khan in 2018 has brought little cheer to bed-ridden Asmeena, his widow. Her life has been on a downward spiral since that fateful evening when he went to herd cattle on the evening of July 20 in 2018. That was the last time she saw him alive.

Will move High court

We wanted death penalty or at least life imprisonment for all accused. The court has let off one of the accused, which is unfair. We will not give up and go in appeal against the verdict to the high court.

Asmeena, widow of rakbar khan

While Khan’s two school-going daughters, who dropped out of school after he died, are now married, their five other children — two daughters and three sons — are school-goers. The family is making ends meet with her widow pension as also by selling milk.

“The verdict of the court is a disappointment. We wanted death penalty or at least life imprisonment for all the accused. Also, the court has let off one of the accused which is unfair. We will not give up and go in appeal against the verdict to the high court,” she said, speaking to The Tribune on the phone.

Soon after Rakbar’s lynching, she met with an accident while on her way to see her sons who were admitted to a school in Aligarh with the help of an NGO. “I have been bed-ridden since then and there is no hope for recovery. I married off my two daughters because I wanted them to be settled if something happened to me,” she says.

Her daughters, Sahila and Saima, were married even before they turned 18. While Sahila, now of 18 years, is at her in-laws’ house and has a son already, Saima, despite being married, is staying with her mother.

“My sister got married in 2018 and I got married last year. However, I will be staying with my mother for a couple of years more, till I turn 18. Also, by then, my other sister will be old enough to take care of my mother since she can’t stand on her feel. My paternal uncles, who live nearby, help us with managing the house,” she says.

The mother admits that the two girls were minors when they got married. “My circumstances were such that I had no choice. Who would have looked after these young girls if something had happened to me? My health does not allow me the luxury of leaving decisions for the future. I am in a rush to do all that I can,” she says, adding that she hopes Rakbar’s murderers will be punished with a sentence befitting the crime they committed before her time is over. She insists that justice is yet to be delivered.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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