Cow Vigilantism: Hindu Jagran Vedike Activists Kill BJP Member, Injure Another, in Karnataka

                                   Image credit: The Asian Age

Cow vigilantes across the country have killed and maimed many in the recent past. But the latest incident from Karnataka is the first one of its kind.

Activists of the Hindu Jagrana Vedike killed a BJP member – Praveen Poojari (22) – and seriously injured another – Akshay (22) – who were transporting three cows in a van at Kakije near Hebri in Udipi district on Wednesday night, according to a report in The Hindu.     

KT Balakrishna, superintendent of police, told the newspaper that on receiving information about the transport of cows, a group of activists belonging to the Vedike, stopped their van at Kajike at around 8.30 p.m. and beat them, alleging that the cows were being transported to an abattoir.

The injured were then rushed to a hospital in Brahmavar, where Praveen Poojary died. On getting the information about the incident at around 11 pm, the police arrested Srikanth and 16 activists of the Hindu Jagran Vedike on charges of assault and murder.

Incidentally, cows can be slaughtered in Karnataka if old or diseased. Possession of beef is not a crime. Bill proposed by BJP in 2010 made slaughter punishable by 7 years’ jail and Rs 1 lakh fine, but it did not become law.

Whether the cows were being taken to an abattoir, as alleged by the vigilantes, is a moot point. Even if true, there is no law authorising  the criminal misdeed of self-proclaimed ‘gau rakshaks’.



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