Cow vigilantes, self appointed extremist groups who prowl the streets in the name of ‘cow protection’ and attack humans, have claimed their latest victim in Rajasthan, according to news reports. A 17-year-old was killed on Sunday at the Rajasthan-Haryana border, under the jurisdiction of the Chupanki police station area in Bhiwadi, Alwar. The victim, Sabir Khan, was reportedly hit by a vehicle driven by ‘cow vigilantes’ who were chasing a truck they suspected was smuggling bovines.
The victim’s family described the gruesome condition of the teenager’s body, which hints that Sabir Khan was run over brutally. “They ran over the child with a speeding Bolero…. So brutally that the body was mutilated to smithereens,” an uncle of the victim described the horror on video, the clip was then shared on social media.
Listen to the family of Sabir Khan, who was brutally killed by Gaurakshak terrorist with his Bolero car.
— Faisal Nadeem (@FaisalNadeemAMU) September 13, 2021
The family has alleged that the teenager was killed intentionally, as he was merely standing on the roadside, when “Anil crushed him with his car.” According to news reports, the police have registered a case of murder was against seven persons, based on the complaint filed by Khan’s family. Police told the media that three accused have been arrested. “Sonu, Harkesh and Naredra have been arrested, while four others are absconding. The matter is being investigated further,” Station House Officer (SHO) Mukesh Kumar Verma was quoted by media reports.
According to news reports, Bhiwadi Circle officer Hari Ram Kumawat had said the truck, which was carrying 15 cows, also rammed into a tree and stopped in the Tauru area of Nuh district of Haryana. The case ‘related to the cows’ will now be probed by Haryana police, stated news reports.
Rajasthan, a Congress governed state is also notorious for violence, including lynchings in the name of ‘cow protection’. Most of the victims are Muslim, and are targetted by the vigilate mobs, for their religious identity. Often the state government has maintained silence on the issue of ‘gau rakshaks’, as the violent vigilantes like to brand themselves.
Recently, the Rajasthan High Court issued a bailable warrant against six persons, who were acquitted in 2019, in connection with the Pehlu Khan lynching matter by an Alwar court. Khan was attacked by over 200 Gau Rakshaks or cow vigilantes on suspicion of cow smuggling, while returning from a cattle fair to his village Nuh in Haryana. The 55-year-old succumbed to his injuries 4 days after the attack on April 4, 2017 in a private hospital in Alwar.
The Division Bench of Justices Goverdhan Bardhar and Vijay Bishnoi ordered, “Admit. Issue bailable warrants against the accused-respondents to secure their presence before this court in the sum of Rs. 10,000/-, returnable within a period of eight weeks.”
The present appeal has been filed by Pehlu Khan’s sons, Irshad and Arif, and their plea has been clubbed with the plea filed by the Rajasthan government against the lower court’s acquittal order.
On August 14, 2019, Additional District Judge Dr. Sarita Swami in Alwar had acquitted six out of the total nine people accused in the Pehlu Khan lynching case. These men are Om Yadav, Hukum Chand Yadav, Sudhir Yadav, Jagmal Yadav, Naveen Sharma and Rahul Saini. The accused were discharged of all charges after being given the “benefit of doubt”. Interestingly, the viral video of the mob lynching was ruled inadmissible by the district court.