Cow vigilantes assault three Muslim men in Bihar on suspicion of carrying beef
Police said normalcy returned to the area only after three persons, including the driver of the truck, who were accused of smuggling beef, were arrested.Updated: Aug 03, 2017, 18:23 IST
A group of cow vigilantes allegedly assaulted three Muslim men over suspicion of carrying beef in a truck in Bihar’s Bhojpur district on Thursday, the latest in a spate of mob attacks in the name of bovine protection.
The mob also blocked Ara-Buxar stretch of the National Highway 84, disrupting vehicular traffic for more than three hours, alleging beef was being smuggled to neighbouring West Bengal, police said. The group also demanded action against the Shahpur station house office (SHO) for his alleged failure to check “beef smuggling.”
There has been growing incidents of attacks and lynching of people, mostly in the BJP-ruled states, by self-styled cow vigilante groups over rumours of cow slaughter and beef smuggling. The attacks have triggered nationwide condemnation and outrage.
Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently condemned such acts, saying “killing people” in the name of “gau bhakti” is not acceptable. Despite his warning, incidents of violence in the name of cow, considered holy by Hindus, continue unabated. Fringe elements within Modi’s BJP and other right-wing organisations are often accused of carrying out these mob attacks.
The reported thrashing of three persons on suspicion of transporting beef in Bihar is a “clear confirmation” of the BJP assuming power in the state, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters in New Delhi.
“Now only Hindutva policies will be implemented while he (Nitish Kumar) continues to remain the chief minister,” the CPI (M) leader alleged.
Police said the Thursday’s incident took place after the mob intercepted the truck carrying meat near a petrol pump on the NH-84 under Shahpur police station area, 29 km west of district headquarters Ara and 70 km west of Patna.
Locals claimed illegal slaughterhouses had been running in the area and they had information that beef was being smuggled from Ranisagar village near Buxar for the last many days.
Additional police force had to be deployed to bring the situation under control.
Normalcy returned to the area only by noon after the Jagdishpur sub divisional police officer Dayashankar confiscated the meat-laden truck and arrested its driver Mohammad Sarfuddin Khan and two passengers Mohammad Ajmullah Khan and Mohammad Gulam Khan.
The arrested persons, who were from Rohtas district in south-west Bihar, were being interrogated to find out if the meat they were carrying was beef.
Bhojpur district magistrate Sanjiv Kumar said sample of the meat had been sent for test. Strict action would be taken against those running illegal slaughter houses in the area, the DM added.
Locals also alleged that police were also involved in running the “beef smuggling” racket.
Bhojpur superintendent of police Awkash Kumar told HT that allegation against Shahpur police would be looked into and action would be taken against those found guilty.
(With agency inputs)