A mob of around 50 people allegedly beat up a group of cow vigilantes when they tried to stop a tempo suspecting that the cows were being carried to a slaughter house.
The incident took place on 5 July in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, near the Shrigonda police station. Twenty people had been detained so far, and an attempt to murder case had also been filed against them. The owner of the tempo, Wahid Shaikh, and driver Raju Fatrubhai Shaikh have been arrested under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act.
According to the police reports, the complaint was lodged by Shivshankar Rajendra Swami from Pune who claims to be a legally appointed ‘honorary animal welfare officer’ and hails from the Akhil Bhartiya Krushi Gau Seva Sangh. Swami and his team of 11 gau rakshaks had come to the Shrigonda taluka in Saturday morning to look out for vehicles illegally transporting cows to an animal market that is held in Kashti village every Saturday.
The team of cow vigilantes claimed that they had prior information about a tempo (a mini van) illegally carrying cows. With the help of the Shrigonda police, they stopped the vehicle on the Daund-Ahmednagar road, around 1 pm. Ten oxen and two cows were retrieved from the vehicle.
The group, headed by Swami, had gone to the police station to file a complaint. But the work was not completed so they had to go to the police station once again.
“Around 6 pm, when we left the police station, where some media persons had also gathered, a mob of about 50, with some carrying sharp weapons and stones, attacked us, leaving some of our activists injured. The assailants also robbed gold chains of some activists. Police rushed to the spot and controlled the situation,” Swami reportedly said, reported The Indian Express.
Seven gau rakshaks were severely injured and were admitted to a hospital following the attack.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar, Sudarshan Munde while speaking to The Logical Indian said, “As per the FIR lodged by Swami, we have booked about 30 persons under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 395 (dacoity) and other sections of the IPC. Seven persons were injured in the incident. The investigation has been initiated to confirm the sequence of events and six have been arrested so far.”
Heavy police force has been deployed in Shrigonda and nearby sensitive areas in Ahmednagar district keeping in mind the communal nature of the problem – the situation in Shrigonda has now been put under control, he added.
The Logical Indian Take
Violence in any form is condemnable, irrespective of who the perpetrator is. Be it the fanaticism of the gau rakshaks or the common man who has taken up the law in his hands; violence is not the way out to make one’s voice heard.
In spite of the rising numbers of mob lynchings in this country, it is unsettling to be reminded that India does not have a law on mob lynching. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke against the lynchings, terming them as “unacceptable” in the land of nonviolence and Gandhi. While a statement from the PM was long overdue and crucial, it will take a lot more than a statement for India to rid itself of the plague of mob violence.
These incidents are clear indicators of the fact that law and order situation needs to be strengthened. Along with that, it is essential for people from every stratum of the society be made aware of the horrors of mob lynching and that of taking the law into one’s own hands.
The Logical Indian severely condemns any acts of violence and hopes that the authorities take actions to uphold the law of the land.