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HealthDeaths in India fuel new concerns over cow vigilantism

Deaths in India fuel new concerns over cow vigilantism

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A automobile collided with a van in Tauru, a tiny town in the northern Indian state of Haryana, on a chilly morning in January.

Waris, Nafiz, and Shaukeen were three young Muslim guys who were in the vehicle.

Now, Waris is no more. Nafiz is a prisoner. Shaukeen hasn’t yet reconciled with the night’s atrocities.

Shaukeen claims that a bunch of Hindu guys beat his friend to death when they saw a cow tied up in the rear of the car.

The 26-year-old asserts that Nafiz, who was transporting the cow from Bhiwadi district in the bordering state of Rajasthan to his home in Haryana, is the rightful owner of the animal. He was accompanied by Shaukeen and Waris as they were pursued by a bunch of The police assert that Waris’s body had no obvious signs of damage.

“A truck driver and a few gau rakshaks (cow guards) told us about the traffic disaster. The three males were in the automobile when we arrived at the scene. We brought them to the local hospital. One of them subsequently succumbed to his wounds, according to Varun Singla, the police chief of Haryana’s Nuh district, where Tauru is situated.

He continued by saying that the vegetable-laden vehicle had also sustained damage. The driver was unharmed, but his kid, who was riding in the passenger seat, was hurt slightly.
According to Mr. Singla, police detained Nafiz and Shaukeen on suspicion of smuggling cows after they “found a cow in the car”.

Shaukeen, who is currently free on bond, claims that their car only struck the van because they were being pursued by a car owned by the cow vigilantes.

The BBC has seen the CCTV footage of the Tauru disaster. Moments after the collision, it depicts a four-by-four approaching the automobile while sporting a siren on its roof.

The three Muslim guys were then thrown into the four-by-four and the cow was removed from the car’s trunk, according to a resident who witnessed the incident and recorded it on camera. The males in the group looked to be loaded with weapons, including rifles.

“Waris did not pass away in the collision. He claims, adding that it was a “targeted killing” of Muslims.

Millions of Hindus, who make up the bulk of the population in India, adore the cow. Cow slaughter was previously a touchy subject and was outlawed in several regions, but since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the national election in 2014, it has gained national attention.

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State governments led by the BJP have taken severe action against cow slaughter. Approximately two-thirds of India’s 28 states, the majority of which are led by the BJP, including Haryana, have made the sale and eating of beef illegal. It has been claimed that cow vigilante groups have used violence to enforce this rule, frequently attacking and even lynching predominantly Muslim meat vendors and cattle traffickers.

Although Mr. Modi has already chastised these organisations, several high-profile assaults have continued even after that.
Waris’ family is still reeling from the blow of his passing at their house in Nuh.

Imran, Waris’ older brother, asserts that “if someone is committing a crime, any crime, the police should punish them.”

He challenges the state’s decision to “give vigilante groups the right to take the law into their own hands.”
However, Waris’s death was determined to have been brought on by the collision, according to a post mortem report, Inspector General of Haryana Police Ravi Kiran told the BBC. He further stated that if any new information came to light regarding the issue, the police would be ready to look into it more thoroughly.

Shaukeen said that the individuals who attacked them were led by a man by the name of Monu Manesar, a well-known cow vigilante who frequently released videos of himself interrogating livestock carriers. Mr. Manesar had live-streamed a video of Waris and his companions being “interrogated” by himself and a few other men on the day of the event. The Muslim males had obvious facial injuries in the video, which has since been removed from Mr. Manesar’s Facebook site.
“Everyone was striking us as Monu was yelling ‘beat them. Monu was in charge of everything, according to Shaukeen.

The police are presently looking for Mr. Manesar for interrogation in a different incident of alleged cow vigilantism, but the BBC was unable to reach him. However, he had refuted any participation in Waris’s killing in a BBC interview from January.

He asserted that when his squad arrived at the scene after receiving word that a cow was being placed into a car, they watched the automobile accelerate away.

After travelling for about 35 minutes, I arrived at the crash site. Two police vehicles were visible. I requested that folks give the men in the car water because they were somewhat harmed. Later, the police transported them to the
Imran said that a bigger trend of violent attacks by vigilante cow gangs included his brother’s killing.

He suggested a connection between Waris’s passing and another prominent incident, the shooting deaths of two Muslim men named Junaid and Nasir, which made news in India a short while afterwards.

In a burned-out car in Haryana’s Bhiwani district, the remains of Junaid and Nasir were discovered in February. They were allegedly murdered by fundamentalist Hindus who, according to media sources, suspected them of smuggling cows, according to their family. The police complaint listed five males, including Mr. Manesar, but only three suspects, according to the police, have been detained thus far.
The BBC met the family of Junaid and Nasir in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

His corpse was transported in a bag. A pile of ashes. Sajida, Junaid’s wife, wiped away her tears and stated, “There was nothing, only a smattering of ashes and a few bones.

She said that she was concerned about how she would care for their six kids on her own.

Muslims in Bharatpur had protested the murders, claiming that the rules protecting cows were being exploited against them.

Everybody is terrified. They may pick you up, which is the worry. According to Mahmur, Nasir’s older brother, “They pick up anyone, take them away, beat them, and then accuse them of anything like cow smuggling or transportation.”
Over a hundred miles away, in the town of Manesar in the state of Haryana, a group of men assembled at a large shelter and introduced themselves as cow guardians.

Many of them, who were interviewed by the BBC, insisted that they cooperated with the authorities and adhered to the law. Some of them said that when out on patrol, they too occasionally came under assault.

Dharminder Yadav, who led the neighbourhood cow protection organisation before Mr. Manesar took over, queries whether to wait for the police to arrive if there is a lady in the market and someone is acting inappropriately.
Muslim targeting claims were refuted by Mr. Yadav. “According to our legislation, cows must be protected. Whatever our law dictates, we must abide by it. Not simply Muslims are our adversary, he declared; cattle smugglers also exist.

Shaukeen alleges he is currently too afraid to leave his residence.

“Waris is dead, and I don’t want to be killed like him.”

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