Since the start of April 2023, rising incidents have been reported from the state of Haryana where Cow vigilantes or members of extremist Hindutva outfits, such as Bajrang Dal, have assaulted drivers of the trucks transporting cattle. In most of these cases, the drivers of these trucks belonged to the Muslim community. Cow vigilantism, or Hindu-tva mob violence against Muslims who transport or slaughter cows, has becoming dangerously commonplace in the new India, especially in northern India. Despite there being an alarming spike in such violence, the union government still does not collect official statistics on the number of such crimes reported nationally.
In April, 3 such incidents were reported from the state of Haryana. On April 1, in Panipat, Haryana, a mob of cow vigilantes allegedly assault two truck drivers for transporting cattle. A video had been uploaded where the two victims of assault were seem sitting on the road, while a mob was standing around them, raising slogans of stopping the slaughter of cows. The mob also raised the slogans of how they will not stop till the time cow slaughter is stopped. Even though the faces of the members of the mob are visible, it remains unclear if any action was taken.
The video can be viewed here:
Location: Panipat, Haryana
Another incident, dated April 9, was reported from Haryana where members of the Bajrang Dal led cow vigilante group had a high-speed chase to stop a truck that was transporting cattle. It has been alleged that the vigilante group assaulted the drivers too. Pictures of the truck drivers and burst tires of the said truck were uploaded on social media, along with a picture of the cow vigilante mob standing along with the truck. The post can be viewed here:
Bajrang Dal led cow vigilante group led a high-speed chase to stop a truck that was transporting cattle and assaulted its drivers. pic.twitter.com/W4OaeVWfIj — HindutvaWatch (@HindutvaWatchIn) April 9, 2023
In a separate incident, dated April 11, reported from K.M.P Expressway, Haryana, various Cow vigilante militias, including Bajrang Dal members, brutally thrashed a Muslim driver for transporting cattle. A picture of the Muslim driver, wearing a blood stained t-shirt, along with a picture of the big mob of approximately 20-30 members standing with the truck was uploaded on the social media. The post can be viewed here:
Various Cow vigilante militias, including #BajrangDal members, brutally thrashed a #Muslim driver for transporting cattle.#HateCrime pic.twitter.com/QJaSg9qsJ7 — Hate Detector ? (@HateDetectors) April 11, 2023
In another picture, uploaded on the same day, three police officers can be seen posing for pictures with the members of cow vigilante militia who assaulted the driver. The post can be viewed here:
— Hate Detector ? (@HateDetectors) April 11, 2023
It is shocking that such incidents of assault have been reported even after Haryana directed districts to form a special committee mandated by state law for cow protection in March 2023 to crack down on private vigilante groups. It is important to note that in all of these incidents, the mob has quite readily posted pictures of themselves with the trucks, in open impunity and defiance. It is important to note that the Hindustan Times reported on March 11, days after the deaths of two Muslim men from Rajasthan in the state sparked outrage, that the lack of such committees is one of several factors allowing vigilantism to thrive, which has resulted in groups targeting people in the name of cow smuggling, often leaving victims severely injured or even dead. The family of the two Muslim men from Rajasthan’s Bharatpur, Junaid and Nasir, who were found dead in a car in Haryana’s Bhiwani, on February 15, had accused the Bajrang Dal and a “gau rakshak” (cow protection) gang led by Mohit Yadav, who also goes by the name Monu Manesar and was said to be active in the area. A trend, unchecked by men and women in powerful positions of constitutional governance, appears to be sweeping across large parts of the country. In incident after incident, the transportation of cattle, the suspicion of possessing or consuming beef, or the transportation or possession of cattle carcasses has been enough provocation for a lynch mob to appear out of nowhere and inflict heinous violence. Those accused of these provocations, who are almost always Muslims or Dalits, have been subjected to the most brute violence. Despite the fact that the death toll in these incidents is already high—with figures touching double digits and rising, no concrete action is being taken. Image Courtesy: outlookindia.com
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