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Two cattle traders attacked by suspected Hindutva group

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Recovering: Nazir (foreground) and Mohammed Hassan at a private hospital in Mangalore on Sunday.
Recovering: Nazir (foreground) and Mohammed Hassan at a private hospital in Mangalore on Sunday.

Staff Correspondent

They were beaten as they were stealing the animals: police

MANGALORE: Two people, who were transporting cattle to the city, suffered injuries after they were attacked allegedly by members of a Hindutva group at Okkadi village of Kundapur taluk in Udupi district, early on Saturday. Nazir (30), and Mohammed Hassan (48), the victims, are from the Kulai area of Surathkal in Dakshina Kannada district.

After initial treatment at a government hospital at Kundapur, the injured were shifted to a private hospital here.

Mr. Nazir told The Hindu that a group of nearly 100 people, whom he suspected were members of the Bajrang Dal, waylaid the two at around 2.30 a.m. on Saturday and assaulted them with lethal weapons.

“They were angry with us because we were transporting cattle,” he said, and added that the assailants snatched away Rs. 25,000 in cash, a cellphone and a wrist watch from them. “When they were tired of beating us, one of them called the police,” he said. But the police did not provide any respite and instead of rounding up the assailants, they began abusing us, said Mr. Nazir.

“After pleading with the police, we were taken to the local government hospital,” he said. The attackers were around us even when the police were recording our statement. They threatened us with dire consequences if we complained against them, he said and added that they were asked by the police to sign on a blank paper.

The Kundapur police told The Hindu that a case of “road accident” had been filed by them. A case of cattle theft had also been filed against Mr. Nazir and Mr. Hassan.

Mr. Nazir, who was oblivious of the cases filed against him, said he had been in the cattle trading business for the past 10 years. “I have never had this problem,” he said. People used to sell their cows to him once the animals stopped giving milk. On the day he was attacked, he was on a routine business trip and had purchased the cattle from a broker, he said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Gopal B. Hosur said: “The two people who have been attacked had gone to steal cattle and they were thrashed by the local people.” He said cases had been registered against the “thieves” as well as those who attacked them.

Hospital records showed that Mr. Nazir had sustained fractures in both legs, had lacerations on his head and body. Mr. Hassan had fractured his cheekbone and nose, apart from having lacerations all over his body.

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