Muslim man lynched by mob in Rajasthan on suspicion of cow-smuggling

Akbar Khan was beaten to death in Rajasthan’s Alwar; police arrest 2 persons

Updated - June 09, 2020 12:26 pm IST

Published - July 21, 2018 11:13 am IST - JAIPUR

The latest incident comes just over a year after a dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, was lynched by a mob of cow vigilantes near Behror in Alwar district. File

The latest incident comes just over a year after a dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, was lynched by a mob of cow vigilantes near Behror in Alwar district. File

In yet another instance of alleged cow vigilantism, a 28-year-old Muslim man was beaten to death in Rajasthan’s Alwar district on Friday night by a group of people on suspicion that he was smuggling cows.

The victim, Akbar Khan, was a resident of the Ferozepur Jhirka region in neighbouring Haryana. Khan and his friend, Aslam, were transporting two cows on foot through a forest area in Ramgarh’s Lalawandi village, when the villagers surrounded them and started thrashing them. While Aslam managed to escape, Khan was severely beaten up.

Jaipur range Inspector-General of Police Hemant Priyadarshi said at a press conference here on Saturday that two of the accused, Dharmendra Yadav and Paramjeet Singh, had been arrested.

He said the victim had spoken to policemen who reached the spot on being informed about the violence. According to the victim’s last statement, he was assaulted by five people, the official said.

“When the policemen reached the village, the two accused were standing with the cows and an injured Akbar was on the ground, covered in mud. The mud was removed from his face and he stated that he and Aslam had purchased the cows in Ladpur village and were going to their native village Kolgaon when they were stopped and attacked. He then lost consciousness,” Mr. Priyadarshi said.

Khan was taken to a government hospital in Ramgarh, where the doctors declared him brought dead. The body has been shifted to a mortuary in Alwar.

Mr. Priyadarshi said Akbar apparently died due to internal injuries. Aslam’s statement was yet to be recorded. “We are investigating whether Akbar and Aslam had any past record of cow smuggling.” he said.

The two cows have been sent to a nearby gaushala and a case has been registered under Sections 302 (murder), 143 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (criminal act with common intention) of Indian Penal Code at Ramgarh police station.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who was busy with the BJP’s organisational events in Jaipur attended by party president Amit Shah, has condemned the incident. She said strict action would be taken against the accused. “I have asked Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria to get the matter investigated at the earliest,” she said.

The incident comes just over a year after a dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, was lynched by a mob of cow vigilantes near Behror in Alwar district. Pehlu Khan and four others were transporting cows in vehicles to Haryana’s Nuh district, when they were stopped on the Jaipur-Delhi national highway and assaulted on April 1, 2017. In another incident, cow vigilantes had killed Umar Khan near Govindgarh in Alwar district in November 2017.

Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot criticised the BJP government for its failure to stop incidents of mob lynching. Mr. Gehlot said the human life had “no value” for the BJP and criminals disguised as vigilantes were roaming freely without fear of law.

“The Prime Minister remains silent on such cases and the Chief Minister orders customary inquiries, in which [the] actual accused are rarely arrested or punished,” Mr. Gehlot said.

Rule of ‘mobocracy’

Mr. Pilot said a “mobocracy” was ruling in the country and Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s words in Parliament about the State governments’ responsibility seemed “even more hollow now”.

While the People’s Union for Civil Liberties alleged that a racket of extortion by criminals roaming in the garb of ‘gaurakshaks’ was responsible for Khan’s lynching, the father of the deceased, Suleman Khan, who arrived in Alwar, demanded immediate arrest of all the accused and speedy justice for his son.

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