Cow vigilantes strike again. One dead.
A Muslim man who was assaulted by vigilantes over suspicion of cow smuggling in Rajasthan died at a hospital in Alwar, on Tuesday.The incident came amid several steps taken by BJP-ruled states to protect cows, considered sacred by many Hindus. BJP and other right-wing Hindu leaders have also been quoted making provocative statements over the issue.Police said Pehlu Khan (35) died at a hospital on Monday night, two days after 15-odd people were assaulted by vigilantes on the Alwar highway. Some of those attacked are undergoing treatment for injuries while the remaining are in judicial custody, said Virendra Singh, a constable at the Bahror police station. The men thrashed by gau rakshaks on Jaipur-Delhi highway near Behror on Saturday, leading to death of one in hospital on Monday, had valid permits for transport of cows and calves, said family member of one of the injured men.“My brother bought three cows for Rs 75,000 from animal flea market in Jaipur on Saturday. He paid Rs 700 to Jaipur Municipal Corporation for transport permit,” said Yusuf Khan, brother of Azmat, who was assaulted by gau rakshaks.The gau rakshaks attacked the two vehicles, carrying 10 bovine – two cows and their calves in one, and three cows and their calves in the other – alleging that the cattle were being smuggled for slaughter. Rajasthan home minister Gulab Chand Kataria justified the attack by ‘gau rakshaks’ saying that both parties were to be blamed for Pehlu Khan’s death. He said illegal transport of cows was banned in the state.However, the victims claimed that they had valid documents and were legally transporting cattle purchased from a market in Jaipur.