Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday warned cow vigilantes against indulging in violence in the name of cow protection after large number of demonstrations against the violence.. This is the first time that Modi has condemned cow vigilantes and violence used against Muslims.
On the day Modi came out to condemn violence against Muslims, a man was beaten to death by a Hindu mob in Jharkhand on Thursday on suspicion that he was carrying beef in his vehicle.
A case has been registered on the basis of a video footage of the lynching, police said. The incident took place just a couple of days after a mob attacked and injured a man in Giridih district on suspicion that he had slaughtered a cow.30 people surrounded the van bearing a West Bengal number plate in the Bazaar Tand area of Ramgarh police station.
They dragged out the driver of the vehicle, Mohd. Allimuddin, a resident of neighbouring Hazaribagh district, and thrashed him, injuring him seriously.
The police on getting information rushed to the spot and took Mohd. Allimuddin to a hospital where he was declared “brought dead” by doctors, a police officer said.
The mob also set the vehicle on fire, he said.
Reacting strongly after there has been a massive outrage against increasing cases of mob lynching over beef rumors, Modi said: “Killing people in the name of gau bhakti (cow protection) is unacceptable.”
“India is a land of non-violence, a land of Mahatma Gandhi (India’s founding father). Why do we forget that,” he said while speaking at a ceremony in Ahmedabad city of Gujarat — his home state.
Hindus in India consider cow as a sacred animal and slaughtering is banned in many states.
The Indian premier’s statement came after many cases of mob lynching over beef rumours in the country were reported in the last few months.
Modi, who comes from Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has often been accused of not speaking against the incidents involving Muslims.
Meanwhile, Haryana state police have arrested four persons in connection with lynching of a Muslim teenager last week.
The 16-year-old boy, identified as Junaid Khan, was killed by a mob after he was returning from Delhi to his home town after Eid shopping along with his brothers.
Among the four arrested, one is a government employee in Delhi, while other three work in private sector. Police claimed that these men were responsible for instigating others.
“We have arrested four suspects and are looking for one more, who actually attacked Junaid. We are further investigating the matter,” said Kamaldeep Goyal, a superintendent of Railways police, said.
Thousands of people in many Indian cities took to the streets on Wednesday against rising incidents of mob violence on Muslims and Dalits — also called the ‘Untouchables’.
The protests were attended by people from all walks of life, including youngsters, who expressed their displeasure over growing intolerance in India.
Timeline of ‘cow protection’ violence
– On September 28, 2015, Mohammad Akhlaq was killed in Dadri village in northern state of Uttar Pradesh over beef rumours.
– On October 9, 2015, Zahid Ahmed, a truck driver, was attacked by Hindu extremists in Udhampur amid rumors that he had been transporting the slaughtered cows.
– On March 19, 2016, two Muslim cattle traders were lynched and hanged by a mob when they were heading to an animal fare in Latehar district of eastern Jharkhand state.
– On April 5, 2016, Mustain Abbas was shot dead by alleged cow vigilantes as he was returning home after buying bulls from northern state of Haryana.
– On September 8, 2016, a man was lynched on suspicion of stealing cattle in Jalpaiguri city of eastern West Bengal state.
– On April 1, 2017, a mob attacked 15 persons as they were transporting cows in Alwar district of northern Rajasthan state, leading to the death of one person.
– On May 1, 2017, a mob allegedly killed two men in Nagaon district of northern state of Assam, after they were suspected to be cattle thieves.
– On June 26, 2017, three Muslim youths were lynched over suspicion of cow theft in Durgapur village of eastern state of West Bengal.
Additional reporting by The Muslim News
[Photo: People attend a ‘Not in my Name’ protest against spate of anti-Muslim killings in India, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, India on June 28, 2017. Photographer: Muhabiri Javed Sultan/AA]