A Muslim who was assaulted by a suspected cow vigilante group over suspicion of cow smuggling died in a hospital in Rajasthan, India.
The man, identified as Pehlu Khan, 35, succumbed to his injuries two days after the incident took place. Khan was among the 15 men who were attacked by a mob, near the highway in the Jaguvas Bahror area of Alwar in Rajasthan, for transporting cows in six vehicles. All of the attacked men are believed to be from Haryana’s Nuh district.
According to Virendra Singh, a constable at the Bahror police station, “Some of those attacked are undergoing treatment for injuries while the remaining are in judicial custody.”
Police further said that a case has been registered but no arrests have been made, so far.
“We have registered a case of murder against six persons and 200 unknown people,” said Ramesh Sinsinwar, the station house officer of Bahror.
For Hindus, the cow is a sacred animal and slaughtering cows and eating beef is a sensitive issue in India. Hurting, slaughtering and eating its meat is deeply sacrilegious. On the contrary, for Muslims, there is no such restriction. Therefore, the difference between the two religious communities has always created rifts in the Hindu-majority country.
This is not the first such incident as recently, a Muslim man was killed in India by a lynch mob allegedly over suspicions of consuming beef. 51-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was kicked and beaten to death while his 22-year-old son was seriously injured.
Not long ago, two women were slapped, kicked and abused by a mob for allegedly eating beef at a railway station in Madhya Pradesh, India. The women were thrashed for nearly half an hour before the police led them away.
According to critics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory in 2014 elections has emboldened cow vigilantes. The ruling party in India, the Bharatiya Janata Party, started a crackdown on illegal cow slaughter in several states.
Weeks ago, Modi appointed Yogi Adityanath, a controversial Hindu priest, as chief minister of the Indian state Uttar Pradesh. Since his appointment, he has also initiated drives to shut down illegal slaughterhouses.
Recently, a leader of Gujrat, an Indian state, announced that slaughtering cows and transporting beef will soon be punishable by a life sentence.
“In the bill, we will make a provision wherein people found involved in cow-slaughtering as well as transportation of beef will be punished with life imprisonment,” said Vijay Rupani, chief minister Gujrat.
In addition, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh recently said that those found guilty of slaughtering cows would be hanged.
The brutal tale of a 100 cow(ards) unfolds as expected when moral authority is granted to those who can't handle authority, nor have morals. https://t.co/wULU6PkDt4— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) April 5, 2017
Cow slaughter = Life imprisonment in Gujarat. Chattisgarh CM from BJP calls for hanging. What for killing humans?— Umar Khalid (@UmarKhalidJNU) April 4, 2017
When cow slaughter becomes more important than manslaughter. And what is this word- vigilantes- arent they murderers? https://t.co/z3Lev6jACB— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) April 5, 2017
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Shailesh Andrade