Cow vigilantes assault Muslim man, cops file case against victim too!

Mohammed Shakir has been accused by UP Police of 'mischief by killing an animal', violent ‘Gau rakshak’ has still not been arrested


Adding to Uttar Pradesh’s image as a state where vigilante groups feel no fear of the law, and are out targeting members of the minority communities, is the latest viral video of violence. In the video, a man is being mercilessly thrashed with a big stick by someone who calls himself a “gau rakshak” or a vigilante cow ‘protector. The victim is being held by the collar by two others while scores watch the attack in silence, till the victim collapses under the blows. 

The attacker is seen in another video “interrogating” the victim as if to make sure he is Muslim and a meat trader. According to news reports, the victim identified as  Mohammed Shakir is a meat seller and transporter, and was assaulted on Sunday afternoon in a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad district. The police, stated a NDTV report, have filed a case against the men who attacked Shakir, on the basis of a complaint by the victim’s brother. However, they have also filed a counter case, of their own volition, stated in the news report, against the victim, and charged him of  ‘mischief by killing an animal’, ‘committing an act likely to spread infection’, and ‘violation of Covid lockdown guidelines’.

While, a senior police official reportedly told NDTV that Shakir had been arrested but not jailed as the charges against him are ‘bailable. However, the cow vigilante, Manoj Thakur, has not been arrested yet, stated the report. On Monday afternoon Moradabad police informed the media that four others have been arrested and two more were on the run. Prabhakar Chaudhary, the Moradabad police chief, said, “We got a video of a meat-seller being beaten up and we have filed a case. There are five to six accused who have been named. We are carrying out searches and will arrest them soon.”

According to the news report, Shakir’s brother in his complaint to the police stated that Manoj Thakur and his associates attacked Shakir when he was carrying 50 kg of buffalo meat on a scooter, the FIR stated that the cow vigilantes demanded ₹ 50,000 from Shakir and then assaulted him, before warning him against going to the police, according to the news report. Thakur can be heard saying that in one of the video clips now gone viral. 

What adds to the crime is the fact that the accused Manoj Thakur then issued a statement from an undisclosed location that has been circulated to journalists in the district, reported NDTV. Thakur said, “We tried to stop this man but he hit us with his vehicle. Using two lathis to hit a man is a crime but trying to kill someone isn’t? I am trying to stop cow slaughter but the police are now threatening me. Let the administration give me a police team… I will expose this racket.” The tone says it all. 

Samajwadi Party leader, Moradabad’s Member of Parliament ST Hasan, in his video statement expressed concern on the situation now unfolding in Uttar Pradesh with such vigilantes on the loose again. Hasan said he heard that Shakir got the meat from a factory and had a receipt, “yet he was assaulted. I want to say that this hatred in the name of cow slaughter has to stop. It is God’s grace this man was not killed.” 


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