Four men, two Hindus and two Muslims, while transporting a dead buffalo, were assaulted by a mob in Uttar Pradesh in the early hours of Wednesday. The men were accused of stealing the buffalo by the mob before they were saved by the policemen.
The policemen reasoned with the mob for over half an hour before they were allowed to investigate. The incident took place in the Hathras district.
Villagers alleged that they had caught the men taking away the dead buffalo in a pick-up van. The buffalo had been poisoned by the men, they alleged.
The video circulating the incident shows the one of the men telling the villagers that he had gone to the village to pick up a dead buffalo on the instructions of a contractor he works for. The police who later rescued the men said they contacted the buffalo owner.
“The four men say they have a license to pick up dead animals and dispose of them. We are getting that checked. As we investigate further, we will also act against the mob,” said senior police officer Siddhartha Verma.
“It’s difficult to say whether this could have led to a lynching incident. Sometimes the mob gets out of control but thankfully we were there on the spot and we managed things,” he added.
Recently, NDTV revealed on Sunday that Rakbar Khan, who was beaten by a mob on suspicion of cow smuggling in Rajasthan’s Alwar was in police custody for over 3 hours before he was taken to the hospital for treatment. The victim was travelling along Akbar Khan, who was beaten to death on the spot by the mob.
Reportedly, the police arranged for transport for the cows, visited the police station which was not far from the hospital and has a cup of tea before getting medical help, by which time he had already died.
The police said that 28-year-old Rakbar Khan died “on way to hospital”. They have charged three arrested from Alwar’s Lallawandi village with murder.
On 4th July, Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra said Cow vigilantism was not acceptable and it was the responsibility of the states to prevent this. The Supreme Court also warned against linking religion to mob violence saying, ‘a victim is a victim’.
“Nobody can take law into their own hands. It is the obligation of the state’s to see these incidents are prevented,” the SC stated.