Politicians are questioning the Rajasthan government over it's inaction in dealing with cow vigilantism that ended up killing a Muslim man from Haryana on 3 April in Alwar.
Fifty five-year-old Pehlu Khan was were beaten up with 15 others on the Behror Highway after they were accused of cow smuggling.
His relatives alleged that Khan had produced documents proving that he was transporting cows legally for dairy purposes but the vigilante team tore up the documents.
Speaking to Outlook magazine on the issue, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said:
Gau rakshaks have killed six Muslims in recent times and also raped two women over allegations of beef consumption. Now the question is, will the rule of law prevail or gau rakshak law? Because if it’s the latter then there will be anarchy in the land.
Commenting on Yogi Adityanath's ban on illegal slaughterhouses which has seen the forced shutdown of even the legal ones, Owaisi said:
We’ll see what happens soon, Navratri is about to end anyway. If they shutdown slaughterhouses, around 10-15 lakh people will be unemployed. There’s a big industry of meat export that will get affected.
Last year in Jharkhand, a team of cow vigilantes hanged a 12-year-old child over accusations of cow smuggling. In Mewar too, two men were killed by gau rakshaks. In Haryana two Muslim women were raped as "punishment" for eating beef.
Vasundhara Raje Silent, Rajasthan HM Defends Gau Rakshaks
Congress leader Sachin Pilot criticised the Rajasthan government's "tacit support" to "violent vigilantism".
Shocking 2 see complete inaction by Raj govt after 1person's killed on suspicion of beef smuggling.Shows tacit support 4 violent vigilantism— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) April 5, 2017
Although Rajashtan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje tweeted messages of condolence for the victims of a fatal accident in Bikaner, she has maintained strict silence on the killing of the Muslim man in Alwar.
Instead of taking action against the perpetrators of violence, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria partially defended the vigilantes. He told NDTV:
The problem is from both the sides. People know cow-trafficking is illegal but they do it. Gau bhakts try to stop those who indulge in such crimes.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded immediate action against the perpetrators and said the Opposition will raise the issue in the Parliament on Thursday.
Immediate action should be taken. Thinking to raise the issue in Parliament tomorrow after getting all details.
The BSP also condemned the assault through its official twitter handle.
RJD member of Rajya Sabha Dr Misa Bharati tweeted:
“Congrats BJP! You have turned Ind into Pak! First spread propaganda, promote hoodlums, then promise 'action'.”
Earlier in 2016, Yogi Adityanath had demanded punishment for the family of a Muslim man who was killed in Dadri over allegations of beef consumption.
A week back, the Gujarat Assembly passed a bill enhancing punishment for cow slaughter. The offence of smuggling cows will now attract a fine of Rs 1 lakh and the confiscation of the vehicle that was used for transportation. Additionally, cow slaughter is also punishable with lifetime imprisonment.