Alwar, July 21: In yet another appalling case of mob lynching, a man was beaten to death on Friday night by a group of alleged vigilantes on suspicion of cow smuggling in Rajasthan’s Alwar district. Two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident, according to police.
The deceased, identified as Akbar Khan, was reportedly transporting two cows from his native village Kolganv to Ramgarh’s Lalwandi village when a group of assailants attacked him, beating him to death.
The body has been kept in Alwar’s government hospital, while police are probing the matter.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje condemned the incident and ensured strict action against the attackers.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Kataria said that strict action will be taken against those responsible for the incident, adding that the government is trying to make stricter laws to curb the menace of mob lynching.
Akbar Khan, 28, and another man were taking two cows to their village in Haryana through a forest area near Lalawandi in Alwar district last night, when a group of people severely thrashed Khan, Ramgarh police station SHO Subhash Sharma said.
The people suspected that Khan was smuggling cows but the allegation is yet to be verified, Sharma said.
The other man accompanying Khan managed to escape.
Khan was rushed to a government hospital in Ramgarh, where doctors declared him brought dead. The body has been kept at a mortuary and the postmortem is expected to be conducted after Khan’s family members reach the hospital.
Khan’s father Suleiman said that they want justice and demanded arrest of the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, in an inappropriate move, said while he condemns the mob lynching incident, but the worst such incident in the history of nation was that against the Sikhs in 1984. His remarks follow the footpringts of what Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
“We condemn mob lynching but this isn’t a single incident. You have to trace this back in history. Why does this happen? Who should stop this? What happened with Sikhs in 1984 was the biggest mob lynching of this nation’s history,” Meghwal said, while hinting that the incident was part of a conspiracy against the government.
“The more popular Modi ji becomes, the more such incidents will happen. In Bihar election it was ‘Award Wapsi’, UP election it was mob lynching. In 2019 elections it’ll be something else. Modi ji ne yojnaein di aur uska asar dikh raha hai ye uska ek reaction hai,” the minister added.
The incident comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking in the Lok Sabha, condemned the latest incidents of mob lynching and urged all the state governments to take strict action against the culprits.
“Any instance of violence brings shame to the nation. I will once again urge the state governments to punish those who indulge in violence,” he said his reply to the debate on the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha.
On Thursday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh also condemned incidents of mob lynching, putting the onus on states holding them responsible for the law and order situation.
Observing that law and order was a state subject, Singh said the Centre cannot remain silent on the issue.
“I have issued advisories to state government in 2016 and 2018. We have asked social media service providers to install check. Such incidents are unfortunate. We have asked the Chief Ministers to take firm action against the culprits,” Singh said.
The incident is a grim reminder of the 2017 lynching incident that took place in Alwar district when 55-year-old Pehlu Khan was beaten to death on April 1 when he was transporting cows from his dairy farm.
Pehlu and four others, among them his two sons, were returning from a cattle fair on Jaipur’s outskirts on April 1 and were headed to their homes in Haryana when they were attacked by cow vigilantes in Alwar’s Behror. The mob, calling Khan and his companions cattle smugglers, assaulted them. Pehlu died two days later and a video documenting the lynching went viral.
The death triggered national outrage and a demand to rein in right-wing vigilante groups, whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi had blamed last August for fomenting social tension and called for action against them.