Assam: Police arrest man for assault on women who protested cow slaughter
Police in northeastern Assam’s Biswanath district arrested on Saturday a Muslim man who allegedly assaulted and grievously injured two tribal women who objected to his slaughtering a cow.
Police said Ahmed Ali had on Friday evening allegedly slaughtered a cow at his house in No 2 Diringpathar village close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh. The inhabitants of the village are predominantly Muslims and tribals.
Police said a group of non-Muslims, including the two tribal women, came to Ali’s house and told him to stop slicing the animal. Enraged, Ali allegedly charged at the women with his machete and injured two women, identified as Bodheswari Goswami, 40, and Bhanti Mallick, 42.
Ali fled the scene before a crowd gathered, baying for his blood. “Prompt action by the police prevented the situation from getting out of hand,” the district’s additional deputy commissioner Asitakshya Chakraborty said.
The two women were rushed to the civil hospital in Biswanath Chariali town. Mallick, who sustained injuries on her head, was later shifted to Tezpur Medical College Hospital.
“We arrested the man wanted for assaulting the women from a nearby village in Balisang area around 11am. The law will take its course,” Diganta Choudhury, the district’s superintendent of police, told HT.
The Biswanath incident happened a day after a bull died in southern Assam’s Silchar town after family members of a BJP worker allegedly attacked it with sticks. The bull had reportedly entered their house. “The bull died elsewhere, and no one lodged any complaint,” a police officer in Silchar said.
This comes amid a raging nationwide debate on slaughtering the cow, considered holy by many Hindus, that has seen several BJP-ruled states ramping up their cow protection laws. Vigilante groups have gained in strength since the NDA came to power and have attacked several people, including a Muslim dairy farmer in Rajasthan who was lynched two months ago.
Cow slaughter or consumption of beef had never been an issue in Assam where cow slaughter is legal. Muslims are 34.22% and Christians 3.74% of the total population, according to the 2011 census.
Three persons, including a minor, were arrested in Jorhat town on April 5 for hurting religious sentiments by carrying half a kilo of beef openly in a market. It was the first such instance. The trio was booked under Section 295(A) of Indian Penal Code and under Section 568 of the Assam Cattle Preservation Act of 1950.