‘Hindutva cow vigilantes’ lynch Muslim man in JK’s Rajouri

Rajouri: In yet another incident of hate crime, a Muslim man was beaten to death by a gang of “self-styled Hindutva cow vigilantes” on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district.

Quoting police officials and family members of the victim, a report by Clarion India said that the 20-year-old man was beaten to death by the “Hindu cow vigilantes”.

The report quoting a police officer from Rajouri Police Station, Jahangir Ahmed, said: “Aijaz Ahmad Dar was taking his cattle from one place to another when a group of anti-social elements waylaid and beat him which led to his death,” he said. “It appears to be a communal incident because the accused are cow vigilantes.”

The police has filed a case of murder and launched a manhunt to nab the culprits. FIR has invoked various section of the Indian Penal Code including  302 (murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others), 147 (rioting.), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapons). “We have summoned some people but are yet to arrest the real culprits,” Clarion India quoted the police officer as saying.

Quoting the victim’s cousin Mudasir Nazar, the report said Aijaz and another person had left home on Monday evening to bring a buffalo in a mini truck from another village.

Nazar said that as Aijaz and his driver left with the buffalo after having dinner there they were waylaid by the group of cow vigilantes who attacked them with stones. They had tried to escape but when they hit a speed breaker on the road near a BSF camp, the goons pelted stones on the vehicle and forced them to stop.

The report quoting Nazir, said: “I think they had bashed his head with a rod or a stone which caused his death and the driver somehow managed to escape.”

The family got to know about the incident around 3 in the morning on Tuesday. He succumbed to his injuries at Government Medical College Jammu on Tuesday.

A video that has surfaced on social media shows Aijaz’s head smeared with blood including bruises on eye and face.

Guftaar Chaudhary, a community activist in Rajouri, termed the incident unfortunate and said that the victim’s lynching is part of growing communal violence against Muslims including marginalised tribal communities in the area.

“Hate crimes against Muslims have been on rise for the last couple of years in the Jammu region,” he said. “Those who are taking laws in their own hand & killing innocents are real terrorists.”

Aijaz is survived by his paralyzed father Mohammad Afzal and three sisters. Mudasir said that he was a horseman but now the family has lost an earning hand, the report said.

“Who will take care of his sisters, mother, and paralyzed father. Will he get Justice? Time will tell,” Chaudhary was quoted as saying in the report.


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