VHP, Bajrang Dal back cow vigilantes, turn heat on BJP
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal members created a ruckus at a BJP meeting here on Monday, saying the state government has failed to protect cow vigilantes.
“Go bhakton ke kam na aaye wo sarkar badalani hai...Yeh sarkar nikkami hai” (The government that cannot support cow vigilantes has to be changed… It is a worthless government.) Such slogans were shouted at the meeting – called ‘booth vistarak sammelan’ – presided over by Mahendra Singh Rathore, BJP’s in-charge for Barmer district.
VHP and Bajrang Dal members were protesting against the arrest of four men and registration of a case against 50 others on charges of attacking officials of the Tamil Nadu government’s animal husbandry department.
About 50 cow vigilantes targeted the officials in Barmer on June 11, alleging that they were taking cows illegally. They stopped the trucks transporting the cows and attacked the drivers. They allegedly pelted stones at a truck and blocked a national highway.
Police found that the drivers had valid documents for transportation of cows from Jaisalmer.
BJP district president Jalam Singh Rawlot, revenue minister Amararam Choudhary, urban improvement trust chairperson Priyanka Choudhary and Urdu Academy chairman Ashraf Ali were present during the meeting when VHP, Bajrang Dal and some other Hindu right-wing organisations barged in and shouted slogans.
When Rawlot warned that they would be punished for this, they intensified their protest. After Mahendra Singh assured the protesters to meet them, they calmed down.
The RSS affiliates had earlier accused the district administration and police of not doing a fair investigation in the cow vigilante case.
On June 22, the Bharitya Majdoor Sangh, another RSS affiliate, protested against what it called the anti-labour policies of the BJP government.
VHP’s district leader Kishore Bhargav, who led the protesters during the BJP meeting, said police were responsible for the June 11 incident. He claimed that station house officer Jairam Choudhary was drunk when he came to the spot and misled the mob.
Bhargav alleged that some anti-social elements created trouble because of “irresponsible behavior” of police. Instead acting against the culprits, police arrested VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal workers, he alleged.
Meeting the protesters at the RSS office, Mahendra Singh, also the Jodhpur Development Authority chairman, assured them that he would talk to the collector and the SP, and also convey their stand to the chief minister.
The Centre, citing an advisory issued a few months ago on cow vigilantism, had asked the Rajasthan government on Friday to take action against those who targeted Tamil Nadu officials.