Two days after he was brutally attacked by savage mob of gau rakshaks for transporting cows in Alwar, Pehlu Khan, 55, a resident of Haryana, succumbed to his injuries on Monday night sparking outrage against growing hooliganism of cow vigilantes groups. Rajasthan Police said Khan and at least four others were attacked even as they produced documents to show that they had purchased the cows.
“Gau rakshaks affiliated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal stopped four vehicles, near Jaguwas crossing on National Highway 8, on Saturday evening, alleging that they were illegally transporting bovines. These vehicles were coming from Jaipur, and were headed towards Nuh district in Haryana,” said Ramesh Chand Sinsinwar, SHO, Behror police station.
While they attacked the men in the vehicles, they reportedly allowed one of the drivers, Arjun, to leave. “Five of the victims had to be hospitalised,” said Sinsinwar. “Of these, Pehlu Khan died at a hospital in Alwar on Monday night. A post-mortem was conducted and his body was handed over to his relatives today,” he said. While purported videos of the incident are being circulated on social media, no arrests have been made so far.
Though the Rajasthan Police registered a case against the attackers, the cops also booked the group of Muslim men for “smuggling” even when they had government receipts that allowed them to ferry the cows. According to India Today , they have found various receipts of the required money paid by the men to Jaipur municipality and other government offices to to carry the cows legally.
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Rajasthan Home Minister GC Kataria has blamed “both sides” and also admitted that the police acted against both the groups.
“One person died due to the beating. Police have registered cases against people smuggling the cows and also over the death of the man,” he said today.
“The blame lies with both sides. When they know that cow smuggling is banned in Rajasthan and there is a law against it, why were they doing it?” he added.
Kataria did not mention the fact that the group from Haryana was carrying the cows legally, leaving space for hooligans to justify the lynching and embolden them for future attacks , which has become common since BJP came in power since 2014.
Victim accounts the savagery of cow vigilantes
“We were returning from a Saturday fair in Jaipur. I had bought two milch cows for Rs 75,000, and I had all the valid documents with me. We were not even trying to hide the cows, as we were taking them in a pick-up truck. At around 6 pm on Saturday, the gau rakshaks stopped our vehicle and asked us our names. They allowed our driver, Arjun, to leave,” said Azmat, 22, who was with Khan in the pick-up truck.
“I told them I had all the documents but they pulled us out of the vehicle and beat us up. They took away Rs 35,000 from me. I later lost consciousness and woke up in a hospital at around 1 am on Sunday,” he said.
“Before he died, Pehlu told us that they beat him up and then told him to run, saying ‘tu buddha aadmi h, bhaag’ (you’re an old man, run away)… But they chased him and beat him up again,” said Pehlu’s uncle, Hussain Khan.
Khan and others hailing from Haryana were injured when a mob attacked them while transporting cows in vehicles on the Behror highway in Alwar district on Saturday.
Other injured persons, whose number could not be known immediately, are recuperating in hospital.
with PTI inputs