Another Case of Cow Vigilante Violence; FIR Lodged Against Victim

Begusarai: In yet another murderous assault on the minorities, a 48-year old Muslim man, Mohammed Istekhar, was brutally beaten on the suspicion of carrying beef. The barbaric incident took place on the morning of May 3, when Istekhar was returning from the Teghra market to his home in the Dhankaul village in Begusarai after purchasing buffalo meat for a feast at his home.

Bihar muslim Man

Reportedly, when Istekhar was returning with the meat, riding his cycle, a few drunk men in the Alapur village stopped him. They then dragged him to a nearby field and beat him up with sticks, iron rods and with the butt of a gun. They accused him of carrying cow meat (beef) and threatened to kill him. Istekhar was allegedly carrying Rs 15,000 with him and the mob demanded an additional Rs 5,000 from him.

The accused have been recognised as Deva Chaudhary a.k.a Devna, Rangnath Chaudhary, Rahul Chaudhary, Chhotu Chaudhary and Gunjan Sharma.

When Istekhar’s family came to know about the incident, they rushed to the spot and took a severely injured Istekhar to Sadar hospital in Begusarai. Julekha, Istekhar’s wife, told NewsCentral24x7, “A few guests had come to our place to see our daughter. That’s why he had gone to get the meat. But it was buffalo meat. Not cow. There was some mutton and chicken as well.”

Istekhar’s brother-in-law Mohammed Mumtaaz said that this kind of thing keeps on happening, but things had aggravated further because it was election time and Begusarai is a contentious seat. He also said, “It wasn’t beef. It was buffalo meat. When the government has permitted the sale of that legally, and people buy and sell it regularly, then why is it a problem?”

Istekhar has submitted a written complaint to the police. Paradoxically, a FIR has been lodged against Istekhar for allegedly carrying beef. Suman Chaudhary, a police officer who has taken charge while the SHO is on a leave, admitted that while the incident had taken place, an FIR had been filed against Istekhar for carrying cow meat. Chaudhary also informed that the meat would be sent for a forensic examination soon. Only then would the matter clear out.

In the past five years, the spate of violence against minorities and the oppressed sections of society have constantly been on the rise. Lynching, in the name of cow vigilantism, has been the most common form of violence and most victims or survivors are Muslims or Dalits. It is significant to note that, such incidents have increased by almost five times during the BJP-rule compared to the period when Congress was in power. Regrettably, BJP continues to maintain silence. Instead, its members have completely refrained from acknowledging the presence of this growing menace.

Such cruel acts with no action from the government, are an indication that the Sangh Parivar’s ideology of a ‘Hindu rashtra’, where there is no place for the Muslims or the minorities, is gradually laying its foundation. The 2019 general elections are thus crucial as they will decide the fate of millions of oppressed people and the trajectory of our ‘secular nation.’

Begusarai is witnessing a strong fight between the young student leader and CPI candidate, Kanhaiya Kumar, BJP’s candidate Giriraj Singh and RJD’s candidate Tanveer Hasan.

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