Since coming to power at the Centre, RSS cadres have been regularly attacking minorities particularly Muslims. These attacks in recent years in the name of ‘gau raksha’ are no manifestation of bovine love, but of hatred towards fellow countrymen.
On April 1, 2017, a dairy owner Pehlu Khan, his two sons- Irshad and Arif, Azmat and Rafiq bought two cows and three calves from Ramgarh and were travelling from Jaipur to Nuh in Haryana. In the evening near Behror they were stopped by a vigilante group and were pulled out of the vehicle. Their vehicles were smashed and they were brutally beaten with stones, sticks and iron rods. Pehlu Khan and Azmat Khan were badly injured and along with others were taken to Kailash hospital of Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma. Neither police nor hospital transferred them to a hospital where they could be properly treated. According to Rajasthan PUCL’s letter to the Chief Minister, the family members of the injured alleged that they were treated like criminals. Pehlu Khan died while Azmat Khan is critically ill.
Important aspects of this murderous that these Pehlu Khan and his associates had proper receipts of purchase of these cattle and also ravanna receipt for their transport. Second and more important aspect is that this attack took place in presence of police and homeguards. Police was not even silent spectator as they quickly lodged FIRS against the five charging them under various sections of Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition from Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration and Export) Act, 1995. Police however have not acted on the FIR lodged by the victims saying that they could not have known the persons named by them as they were outsiders. Police further diluted the charges against the attackers and has not arrested those named in the FIR.
This is not an act of overzealous so-called ‘gau rakshaks’. Rajasthan Home Minister G.C. Kataria lauded the efforts of these hoodlums that they were doing good by protecting cows. When this incident sparked protests, RSS Chief came out with the demand that all India law for protection of cow should be made. This is only a diversionary tactics to protect their cadres who are attacking Muslims in the name of cow protection. However, these ‘gau rakshaks’ have been totally silent on the death of cows in ‘guashalas’ in that very province, Rajasthan, due to lack of fodder and water.
Goondaism and violent attacks made by activists of RSS and its affiliates in connivance with police pose a serious danger to minorities and to the democratic rights at large. A powerful movement should be built to bring the guilty to book.