Human rights activist in Jaipur have slammed the police and BJP leaders for registering complaints against owners and staff of a hotel under the pretext of cow vigilantism. The activists have accused the leaders and the police of filing complaints based on rumours of beef being served at this hotel.
Some cow vigilantes led by one Kamal Didi, president of the Rashtriya Mahilla Gau Rakashak Dal, were rescuing ill and abandoned cows from an open space in Jaipur on March 19 when they spotted two youths throwing some waste. She suspected it to be beef and later alleged that she had been receiving complaints about beef parties being held in Hotel Hayat Rabbani over weekends. However, the hotel owner Naeem Rabbani insisted that it was not cow meat.
The sample has been sent for forensic test but on the night of March 19, Didi led a mob to the hotel where the staff alleged that some of them were beaten up as police watched.
Kamal said that it was not simply a matter of beef being served, but the stray cows fed on the waste dumped by the hotel staff.
JAIPUR MAYOR TERMED IT BEEF IN A MESSAGE?
People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), which alerted the media immediately, insists that Jaipur Mayor Ashok Lahoti sent a message on WhatsApp terming the meat waste as beef even when he had no such evidence. This, PUCL alleged, put police under pressure to lodge a case against the hotel staff and arrest some of them before bailing them out.
The PUCL also alleged that the case against the mob was lodged under bailable sections only whereas the incident had serious dimensions of instigating communal sentiments and orchestrating attack on minorities on hearsay. It has been demanding arrest of Didi and disciplinary action against the police and a case against Lahoti for spreading the rumours.
An issue that has now come to the fore is that the hotel did not have the licence to serve meat but the hotelier said that meat, and not beef, was being cooked (only) for the staff. The local authorities also said that the hotel was dumping waste without following norms but according to PUCL, even other hotels do so.
A serious violence was averted in the incident but this indicates emerging undercurrents of hardening attitude of Hindu organisations.