Haryana: Gau rakshaks mistake student for journalist, stab him
Members of a cow vigilante group stabbed a college student multiple times for not taking photographs of their protest after mistaking him for a journalist in Gohana town of Haryana’s Sonepat district on Thursday.
The BA second-year student, Shivam, is battling for life at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon.
He reportedly went to the event with a journalist and was fiddling with his friend’s camera.
The Gau Raksha Seva Dal held a protest demanding sedition charges against Congress workers in Kerala who slaughtered a cow in public last Saturday to defy new Central rules that no cattle can be sold or bought in animal markets for slaughter.
The gau rakshaks — self-styled cow protectors — thought Shivam was a photographer and asked him to take photographs of them handing a memorandum to district officials.
The student allegedly refused, which triggered an argument, but bystanders pacified the protesters.
The gau rakshaks followed him after the protest, accosted him in a market, and stabbed his stomach and chest with knives, police said.
“He was admitted to local hospital initially but taken to Delhi because of his condition,” police inspectorKuldeep Deswal said.
The main suspect, identified as 19-year-old Mohit, was arrested. But two more suspects, both relatives of Mohit, are on the run.
A case of “attempt to murder” was lodged against the three people and it mentions the accused as members of the cow protection group.
But the group disowned the trio, saying they were troublemakers who join any protest, the police inspector said.
The protest was against beef festivals in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, organized by groups against the latest curbs on cattle trade.
The slaughter of cows, an animal considered sacred by many Hindus, was banned in most states but seldom implemented strictly until the BJP came to power at the centre in 2014 and won several assembly elections subsequently.
BJP-ruled states such as Haryana enacted tough laws to enforce the ban and self-styled vigilantes took it upon themselves to protect cows.
Such groups have been accused of thrashing men they accuse, often without proof, of slaughtering cows or carrying the animals to slaughterhouses.