Alwar lynching: Sadhvi Kamal equates cow vigilantes to Bhagat Singh, calls them ‘future heroes’
Cow vigilantes accused of lynching a Muslim dairy farmer in Rajasthan’s Alwar this month are equal to freedom fighters such as Bhagat Singh or Chandrasekhar Azad, controversial Hindu leader Sadhvi Kamal has said.
In a video on social media, the 39-year-old who prefers to call herself “didi” is purportedly seen as meeting Vipin Yadav, one of the people arrested on charges of assaulting Pehlu Khan on April 1.
“When Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad went to jail, then they were also perceived as criminals and bad people but are now known as heroes. Similarly, people such as Yadav will also be known as heroes in the future for protecting gau mata,” she told HT.
Vipin is one of five people arrested on the basis of footage of the assault circulating on social media but isn’t named in the FIR filed on the basis of Khan’s statement hours before his death. The police are battling charges of inaction and laxity in a case that has sparked nationwide outrage and even rocked Parliament. None of the six named in the complaint have been arrested.
The purported video was allegedly shot when Vipin was taken by police to a college in Behror where the 19-year-old wrote his exams. “Lord Krishna also went to jail for the ‘uddhar’ of people. Don’t sit idle at the jail and teach all the inmates to chant jai gau mata,” Kamal is heard as apparently saying in the video. People in the backdrop can also be heard chanting “Jai Gau Mata”.
Kamal grabbed headlines last month after she forced the administration in Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur, to seal a hotel for allegedly serving beef. The hotel is owned by a Muslim businessman.
She heads the Rashtriya Mahila Gau Raksha Dal, a self-styled cow protection group that operates in three states – Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Cow slaughter is banned in the three states.
Kamal’s outfit is among many fringe groups that are gained prominence after the BJP-led government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over. These groups claim to work for protecting cows from being taken to slaughter houses. Critics, however, accuse the vigilante groups of attacking people, mostly from the minority Muslim community, merely on suspicion.