Right-wing organisations including the RSS on Saturday sought a probe into the alleged assault on a Muslim couple on suspicion of carrying beef, which they said could be a ploy by vested interests to create communal tension in Madhya Pradesh.
On Wednesday, members of a self-styled cow protection group allegedly assaulted the couple on a train in Madhya Pradesh on the suspicion of carrying beef, which was in fact buffalo meat found in another passenger’s luggage.
Cow slaughter is banned in the BJP-ruled state but killing of buffaloes for meat is allowed.
Gau raksha samitis not directly linked to VHP: VHP leader
Dissociating itself from the incident, the Harda-based Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Deepak Raj Soni told HT that gau raksha samitis — cow protection groups — and other such bodies have been working independently in various parts of the state and stressed they were not directly linked to VHP.
“Our work is to promote cow products and work for cow protection awareness. But we don’t go to the field to search people. That work is being done by people themselves and some motivated youth. What I suspect here is that some people might be misinforming these gau raksha commandos. This needs to be probed whether some people are trying to create communal tension in the district,” he said.
Harda RSS zila sangh chalak Prabhu Shankar Shukla also rubbished claims that the members were associated with the organisation.
“Had they been associated with our organisation, we would have got the details and our leaders would have asked us to probe the matter. The fact is that motivated youngsters are themselves going out for cow protection. You can’t stop such people,” he said.
How activists take law in their own hands: Muslim leader
However, a local Muslim leader asked who gave the people the authority to search people.
“Even if somebody is carrying cow meat, how can these activists take law in their own hands and start searching and misbehaving with people, especially women. If some people get information, shouldn’t they inform the police or the officials concerned?” asked Saed Khan, the All India Muslim Tyohar Committee’s Harda district president.
He said activists had even searched Hindu passengers eight days ago who had come to Harda through train. “Who was giving them this right to search people on their own,” he questioned.
Khan said he met Hoshangabad inspector general of police Satish Saxena and submitted a memorandum to him, demanding action against those assaulted the couple and were taking law in their own hands .
Superintendent of Police (SP) Harda Prem Babu Sharma promised swift action against anyone found guilty.
“We won’t spare anyone who is trying to take law in their own hands or create communal tension,” he added.