Harda assault: Gau Raksha Samiti founder justifies action

  • Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jan 19, 2016 21:00 IST

Currently in news over alleged thrashing of a Muslim couple by some Gau Raksha commandos and his threat to Harda superintendent of police, founder of Gau Raksha Samiti in Harda, Surendra Singh Rajpurohit alias ‘Tiger’ on Sunday justified the action of ‘commandos’, saying their “action was necessitated because of police’s inaction in checking cow slaughter, which they show as buffalo slaughter to prevent communal flare up”.

Those who allegedly beat up the Muslim couple on Kushinagar Express on Wednesday accusing the couple of carrying beef were said to be the ‘commandos’ from Gau Raksha Samiti formed by Rajpurohit in 2007. Two of them were arrested, while others are absconding. Rajpurohit had been arrested by Madhya Pradesh police from Rajasthan last September for allegedly engineering a communal riot in Harda district in September 2013.

In an interview to HT, Rajpurohit alleged every Friday and Saturday cow meat from Khandwa’s Imlipura area was being supplied to various parts of Harda and neighbouring districts. “Gau Raksha commandos took law into their own hands, as police under pressure generally declare cow meat as buffalo meat, as they did in this case too to prevent communal tension,” he said.

He said they had non-Hindu informers in Khandwa district whom they paid money for informing them about cow slaughter and supply of cow meat. “We had authentic information that it was cow meat (recovered from the train). But the police are trying to hush-up the matter so that communal tension doesn’t flare up. Can they answer why the owner of the meat which is being shown as buffalo meat, is absconding? If it was buffalo meat, there was no need for the owner to escape. Secondly, how could authorities say that it was buffalo meat and not that of any other animal? Did they send the meat for analysis to any well-known lab,” questioned Rajpurohit.

He alleged that a group of Muslims thrashed Hemant Rajput, district president of Gau Raksha Samiti, at the Khirkiya railway station. “I am giving time till February 28 to the authorities to stop atrocities on Hindus, after which we will take action on our own,” he said, adding, “We don’t want communal riots. We want peace. Our scriptures talk of peace and harmony. But we can’t see atrocities on Hindus.”

When questioned his actions could flare up communal tension prompting authorities to take action against him, he said, “Let them hang me, but I can’t see atrocities against Hindus,” he added.

Who is Tiger?

Rajpurohit is a known figure in Harda for his right wing activism. He had formed Gau Raksha Samiti in the district in 2007. There are 150 Gau Raksha samiti commandos working in the district these days. The authorities are worried over the recent developments in the sensitive district which has seen riots earlier, in which Tiger was the main accused.

In September 2013, riots had broken out in Harda after there were allegations against some Muslims killing a calf. Houses of scores of 70 Muslims were torched and their business establishments too were burnt. Postmortem reports had later proved that the calf had died after consuming polythene bags. After the riots, Rajpurohit was absconding. Anti-Terrorism Squad’s help was sought to trace him. Finally, he was caught from Barmer in Rajasthan in 2014 and brought to Harda, where he was booked in 11 cases. He is on bail.

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