From Assam to Rajasthan, 7 cases of cow vigilantism in 2017

The death of Haryana's Junaid Khan inside a moving train has brought the issue of cow vigilantism and right wing extremism into the centre.

On June 22, one person was killed and three others were injured after a mob attacked them with knives inside a moving train in Haryana. The incident happened when, Hashim along with his brother Junaid, Mohsin and Moeen had boarded a local train from Delhi to go home to their residences in Ballabhgarh, Haryana, after completing their Eid shopping.

According to reports, the mob attacked them on suspicion that they were carrying beef. After one accused was arrested by the police, he revealed that he was drunk and attacked the 15-year-old Junaid Khan after he was provoked by fellow passengers that ‘he was carrying beef’.

This is not for the first time when such incident happened this year. In 2017, at least 7 people from the minority community have been killed by the vigilantes and several others have been injured. Here’s a look at the incidents of cow vigilantism:

Assam lynching

In April 2017, two men – suspected of stealing cattle in Nagaon district of Assam, were killed by an angry mob.

The victims were identified as Abu Hanifa and Riazuddin Ali. They both were in their early 20s. This was reportedly the first incident in Assam when anyone was chased and killed by the mob following an allegation of cow theft. A “fit for slaughter” certificate is required for cow slaughter in Assam, which is otherwise banned in the State. However, beef and buffalo meat both are available in Assam.

Alwar Lynching

Alwar mob lynching refers to the attack and murder of Pehlu Khan. Pehlu, a dairy farmer from Haryana was attacked by a group of cow vigilantes affiliated with right-wing Hindutva groups in Rajasthan. Khan later died from his injuries, while others who were attacked got seriously injured. Police had arrested three people, Kalu Ram, Vipin Yadav and Ravindra Yadav.

Video Courtesy: YouTube

Jammu and Kashmir attack

Five people of a family, including a 9-year-old girl, were brutally attacked by self-styled cow vigilantes in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. The incident took place on April 21 when a nomad family, moving with their livestock near the Talwara area, were intercepted by a large group of gau rakshaks and beaten up with iron rods.

Four members of the gau rakshak group were arrested.

Malegaon attack

A group of cow vigilantes thrashed two meat traders in Malegaon area on suspicion of possessing beef. The whole incident was captured on mobile camera. In the video, one of the assailants was seen slapping the victim and demanding him to say “jai Sri Ram”. They were later heard talking about taking the victims to the police station.

In Maharashtra, it is illegal to slaughter bulls, bullocks and buffaloes after the state government introduced a ban in 2015.

Video Courtesy: YouTube

Dhanbad attack

A Muslim man in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district was attacked by a mob on June 6 on suspicions that he was carrying beef to an Iftar party. The victim, identified as Ainul Ansari was riding his scooter from Murahdih to Barbadda village when he was allegedly stopped by a group of around 20 people who thought that he was carrying beef.

Haryana train lynching

In shocking incident a group of four people were thrashed in a train between Delhi and Ballabhgarh in Haryana over rumours of them eating beef. One of the victims died due the injuries he sustained in the incident. The deceased was a 15-year-old boy, identified as Junaid Khan.

The four people had come to Delhi for shopping ahead of Eid and were on their way back home in Haryana. The incident of lynching a man and thrashing three others took place in full public view as the train was crowded.

Video Courtesy: YouTube

West Bengal lynching

In yet another case of cow vigilantism, three Muslim men were lynched in West Bengal’s Islampur town of Dinajpur district on June 22. The three men – Sameeruddin Haque, Naseerul Haque and Nasir Haque were allegedly beaten to death by an angry mob on suspicion of stealing a cow. The incident happened in Sonapur village of the Islampur town.

According to reports, about 15 men entered into the village on Thursday night and villagers thought that the persons entering into the village were cow thieves. So far, police have arrested three suspects in this care, investigation is on in the matter.

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