Ranchi, June 8: We have seriously lost count of the numbers of attacks carried out by gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes) against people for allegedly smuggling cows or eating beef across the country in recent times.
These attacks have become so frequent that they no more make for "good" headlines. That is the fate of any tragedy, if it repeatedly occurs, it becomes "normal".
The latest case of assault on a man carried out by cow vigilantes has been reported from Dhanbad district of Jharkhand on Tuesday. The mob attacked the victim, identified as 35-year-old Ainul Ansar, a resident of Murahdih, for allegedly carrying beef to an Iftar party, as per a report by The Hindustan Times.
The attackers targeted Ainul while he was riding his scooter as he was on his way to the Barbadda village. A group of around 20 people questioned Ainul for hiding beef inside the storage compartment of his scooter.
Then the attackers beat him up mercilessly. The victim, who has sustained severe injuries, is said to be recovering at the Patliputra Medical College Hospital. What is more shocking is the role of the police in the case.
According to reports, the local police got a whiff of the incident while the attack was underway. However, the victim was not saved from getting beaten up by the mob.
Barbadda police station officer-in-charge Dinesh Kumar told The Hindustan Times, "The irate mob insisted that we search the victim's scooter. We did so, and recovered meat - probably beef - from its storage compartment."
Wife of the Muslim man has denied the allegations that he was carrying beef. She insisted that the meat found inside the scooter compartment was mutton.
The attack has come at a time when the Centre has recently announced several rules and regulations regarding cattle sale in animal markets across the country. The critics of the latest cattle regulations said that the measures have been taken by the ruling BJP government to ban beef across the country through the backdoor.
Moreover, as protests against the Centre's rule is gaining momentum across the country, there is a large-scale fear that cow vigilantes are further motivated to carry out their attacks by the beef ban across the country.
In April, cow vigilantes killed a dairy farmer Pehlu Khan on a national highway in Rajasthan for allegedly smuggling cow. Since then several attacks by cow vigilantes have been reported from across the country, including killing of three Muslim men in Assam, for allegedly smuggling cows.
In 2015, Mohammad Akhlaq was killed in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, by a mob on rumours of storing beef in his house.