Jaipur hotel owner and his business targeted over beef

Incident: The case of Hotel Hyatt Rabbani, Polo Victory, Jaipur
Date: 19th March, 2017
Time: 6 pm onwards
Arrested: Receptionist Wasim and cleaner Qasim, Jaipur police on the look out for the owner Naeem Rabbani
Charges, disturbing peace, restraining under sec 151 Cr PC
Hotel now sealed by JMC and Sample of meat collected from Waste, will be sent for examination.

Hotel hayat Rabbani

One Kamal Didi (she signs as Kamal Didi too) of the Rashtriya Mahila Gau Rakshak Sewa Mandal was trying to catch stray cows with the help of the Nagar Nigam to take them to the Gaushalas when Qasim, a cleaner boy from Rabbani Hotel, came to throw garbage in an empty plot near the dustbin on Kanti Chandra Road in Jaipur. All the hoteliers and other private residents throw garbage there. Some of the stray cows who were hanging out near the kachra (the stray cow population of the city is always hovering near dustbins, as they are very hungry), immediately went for the freshly thrown bags, which had food waste along with some chicken / mutton bones.

Kamal Didi immediately started thrashing Qasim accusing him of trying to pollute the cows with beef, dragged him and brought him to the hotel, with 15 other of her followers. In next to no time more than a hundred people joined them later, all wanting the hotel owner Rabbani to come out. The police was called and it was alleged that beef was being cooked and served in his hotel.

The police and the media arrived together. The Gau Rakshaks are always with the media. When they could not find Rabbani, they picked up Wasim the receptionist and the cleaner and booked them under section 151 CrPC and arrested them.

At the hotel they found brochures on the activities of the SIO (the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Hind, JIE), writings of Maulana Wahauddin and the communal harmony campaign literature of Jamaat. So the police reached the JIE’s office asking for Naeem Rabbani. When they learnt that he was not there, they went to his house. Not finding him there either, in line with filmstar Ajeet's his famous dialogue ‘Uski ma, behen ko utha lao’ (Get hold of his mother and sister), they picked up the brother-in-law Abdul Rehamn, who had nothing to do with the hotel.

That is when people got in touch with me.

 I rushed to the Sindhi camp police station. The police let the brother-in-law go. It was only on our way out that we learnt that they had picked up two others of the hotel. After dropping Abdul Rehman safely to his relatives, we went back to the police station to meet the other two and get them out. But the police told us that they had been booked and arrested. They would be produced in front of a magistrate and restrained.

What is interesting is that the protest over the hoax cry that beef was being cooked, resulted in police taking the meat samples and also the Jaipur municipal corporation sealing the hotel. They got all the guests out and sealed it.

What is sad is that Hyatt Rabbani has been getting awards regularly from the hoteliers association for good service among other things. Now the hotel is closed. Rabbani is being asked to show up in the morning (of March 20) and will also be restrained under sec 151 of CrPC.

The Muslim community leadership in the city is in a state of shock over how the police could act under pressure and book Rabbani his staff over a mere a allegation, without basis, of beef being cooked and served. They are very upset. The electronic media has virtually declared that the meat samples were of suspicious nature, did not look like mutton or chicken.

So even before Yogi Adityanath takes over as UP CM, the rest of their lot are so emboldened that they take no time in declaring a Muslim who runs a hotel as committing a heinous crime. Some were also sure that this was done by the next door hotelier who was threatened by their booming business. The ward councillor Nirmala Sharma was also there directing the corporation staff to seal the hotel. While this was being done, the crowds were shouting Jai Shri Ram! In fact, Jai Shri Ram and other slogans were constantly being raised in the drama which lasted for four-and-a-half hours. From 6 pm to 10.30 pm.

Qasim and Wasim are spending the night in the police station. Hopefully they should be released tomorrow. Rabbani not knowing what has hit him, was just working hard in his business is now preparing to face the police. His friends and other members of the Muslim community kept saying that all over Jaipur people are throwing garbage as there are not even garbage bins. Why take action against us only? When I told this to a senior police official he said the police only act when somebody complains.

This is not the first beef related case in Rajasthan. On May 30, 2015 in village Birloka, Khimsar tehsil, Nagaur district, 60-year-old Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi was lynched by a mob simply because a rumour was spread that Muslims had killed more than 200 cows for a feast and pictures of the carcasses started circulating on social media.

Young men in thousands gathered in the fields of Kumhari village where the carcasses were lying as the municipality contractor had rented the field to dispose of cattle carcass, as a routine municipal exercise. Hate speeches and protests took off all over and before one knew Abdul Ghaffar Quereshi who had nothing to do with the incident was beaten with iron rods and killed in the market place, despite some of his Hindu neighbours trying to help him. The hate speech had provoked the neighbourhood to just kill the man as they wanted him out of the village.

The PUCL condemns this attack by the police and Kamal Didi who have maligned the name of Naeem Rabbani and appeals to the police commissioner Jaipur, Sanjay Agarwal to stop this attack on the hotelier and his business. The DCP west and the local police need to be charge-sheeted for acting against Rabbani under pressure of the Gau Rakshaks and the ward councilor. The JMC should also be held accountable for sealing the hotel for no reason, acting under pressure from the ward councillor.

Kavita Srivastava is Secretary, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)



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