You Will Be Killed If You Smuggle, Slaughter Cows: BJP MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja
BJP Rajasthan MLA Gyan Dev Ahuja has reportedly said that anyone who engages in the smuggling of cows will be killed.
“Mera toh seedha seedha kehna hai ki gautaskari aur gaukashi karoge to yu hi maroge (I will only say that if you smuggle and slaughter cows, then you will be killed),” The Indian Express quoted him.
His remark came after a man was thrashed by a mob in Alwar, Rajasthan for alleged cow smuggling. According to the police, when they intercepted a truck carrying cows on Saturday near Yadav Nagar, the people in the vehicle began open firing. As the police retaliated by firing back, two of the three men in the truck escaped and one, Zakir, was arrested. A mob that heard the commotion came to the site. Members of the meo panchayat said that they beat up Zakir.
“I went to see Zakir in hospital and from his injuries it was obvious that he was severely beaten up before being arrested. Why does this happen time and again, when the mob takes the law into its hands?” said Sher Mohammad, chief of Alwar’s Meo panchayat.
However, the police said that Zakir sustained injuries when he fell down while trying to escape.
Ahuja supported the police’s claims that the accused was beaten up by the mob. “As the public was following the truck, it overturned, resulting in the injuries… Now he is saying that villagers beat him up. I have taken details of the case from the SHO. The people didn’t beat him. He was injured because the vehicle overturned,” he said.
The Logical Indian take
Whether or not Zakir was a cow smuggler; whether or not he was beaten by the mob, is secondary. Nothing justifies murder, and an MLA from the ruling party propagating that those who smuggle or slaughter cows should be killed is not only erroneous but extremely dangerous.
The number of people killed in cow-related hate crimes has been the highest in 2017, per an analysis by IndiaSpend, with Rajasthan recording the third highest incidents. Out of these, 86% of the victims were Muslims.
This is not the first time that Ahuja has resorted to making controversial statements. In 2015, when Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmers and cattle trader, was lynched to death in Alwar, the MLA expressed no regrets, “Kanoon humko haath mein nahi lena chahiye. Lekin uski maut hui. Uske liye humko koi afsosh nahi hai. Aur afsosh karoonga bhi nahi kyunki jo gau taskar hain, gau hatyare hain, aise paapiyon ka yehi harsh hota raha hai, hota rahega (We should not take law into our hands. But we have no regret over his death because those who are cow-smugglers are cow-killers, sinners like them have met this fate earlier and will continue to do so).”
On JNU’s protest over the case of sedition against its students, Ahuja had said, “Rapes happen daily in JNU. It is hub of criminal activities.”
The increased polarisation in the country can only be curbed when the those in rule distance themselves from aiding the ones spreading hate. The BJP should speak out against the remarks made by the MLA and show the people that the government is against communal rants and believes that India is a tolerant nation for people of all faiths.