Rights body alleges holes in police version of Alwar attack
A rights body that carried out a fact-finding visit to Alwar has alleged that the police are trying to portray the November 10 incident as a case of gang war whereas it was a case of attack by cow vigilantes.
Members of the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) at a press conference here said that the police was working hand in glove with those accused of the attack and demanded that the probe be conducted by an external agency.
On November 10, Umar Mohammed, Tahir Khan and Javed Khan were transporting cows from Dausa to their village Ghatmika in Bharatpur, when they were waylaid by assailants in Alwar, resulting in the death of Umar. The police stated that the trio was smuggling cows and what happened was a clash between two criminal groups. Umar’s kin, on the other hand, said he was killed by cow vigilantes.
The statement from NCHRO also said that the police were changing their version of the bovines found on the spot. Anil Beniwal, assistant SP and investigating officer in the case, said, “Our team found three adult cows out of which one was dead, one bull, and two were ‘somewhere between calves and bulls’.” The police had earlier said that there were six adult cows, out of which one was dead.
Tikam Shakyawal, a member of the NCHRO Rajasthan committee, asked how the police could register a case of smuggling against Tahir and Javed when they were transporting cows within the state. Responding to the question, the police said that they registered a case under the bovine act as the animals were being taken for slaughter.
Another question raised by the NCHRO members was if the incident was a clash between two criminal groups and the criminal record of the assailants. “What would you call them if they fired at the vehicle? We’re still investigating their criminal past,” said Beniwal.
Furthermore, the activists questioned if there was an exchange of gunfire, how was no one from the other group (of more than six people) injured? The activists also reiterated the demand for compensation to the victims.
Mohammed’s killing is reminiscent of the murder of cattle trader Pehlu Khan who was waylaid and lynched by cow vigilantes near Alwar on April 1 this year. Khan had documents to prove he wasn’t smuggling cows.
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