Activists flay Rajasthan government over increasing cow vigilantism
A number of activists from Left parties, PUCL and labour organisations among others took part in the dharna. The three-day dharna outside the Vidhan Sabha will end on April 26.Updated: Apr 30, 2017 10:32 IST
Amidst slogans like ‘Gau rakshak nahi nar bhakshak hain’ (They are not cow protectors but man-eaters), speakers at a dharna organised in front of the Rajasthan Assembly criticised the Rajasthan government for giving cow vigilantes a free run in the state.
“We have gathered here to demand justice for Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer from Nuh, who was lynched by a group of gau rakshaks at Behror, Rajasthan, when he was returning with four others, including his two sons. While five people have been arrested, the six who were named in the FIRs are being protected by the police. We have been told that the main accused are not being arrested as they are a part of the Bajrang Dal, VHP and RSS. We demand their immediate arrest. It is also unfortunate that the Rajasthan chief minister has not cared to open her mouth on this serious crime in the state even after 18 days,” Kavita Srivastava of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) said.
A number of activists from Left parties, PUCL and labour organisations among others took part in the dharna. The three-day dharna outside the Vidhan Sabha will end on April 26.
“The state home minister who spoke to the media soon after the death of Pehlu Khan, glorified the gau rakshaks instead of assuring a fair investigation. He said that the gau rakshaks have done a good job except that they should not have been so brutal with Pehlu Khan and not taken the law in their hands,” she added.
Addressing the dharna, Prof V S Vyas warned of the harmful effects of cow vigilantism on the rural economy with the movement of cattle, including bullocks, being hit after an increase in the number of cases of gau rakshaks intercepting vehicles ferrying cattle on the highways.
MLA and CPI (ML) leader Rajkumar Yavav alleged that the BJP and its associated parties were trying to divide the country on the basis of religion. “Look at what is happening in Uttar Pradesh. An increasing number of people are becoming unemployed due to the closure of slaughterhouses. The government needs a course correction and think about all sections of the society,” he said.
Speakers said that the lynching of Pehlu Khan was not the first case in Rajasthan. In Bharloki, Nagaur, Abdul Gaffar Qureshi was lynched on May 30, 2016, following rumours that Muslims had consumed beef after slaughtering cows. However, evidence showed that it was completely wrong. Similarly, in Rajsamand, in October 2016, Banjaras were beaten up by gau rakshaks despite having required documents. It took public protests to get the guilty arrested.
First Published: Apr 24, 2017 19:00 IST