Ashu, Rizwan and Kamil at the Kalkaji Police Station, Delhi. Photo credit: Indian Express
In the continuing targeting of Muslims by self-styled ‘gau rakshaks’ (self-styled cow vigilantes) three Muslim men were attacked near Kalkaji metro station in the national capital on Saturday night.
The three men, Ashu(28), Rizwan(25) and Kamil(25) were carrying buffaloes in a tempo when activists from a well-known animal rights group, People for Animals (PFA) stopped the truck near Kalkaji Metro station and thrashed them.
The police said the men who had received minor injuries were taken to AIIMS Trauma Care Centre and were discharged after medical examination and first aid.
The men alleged that the attackers had come in a vehicle which had stickers of PFO. Police told the media they were called to the place of incident by a PFA office bearer Gaurav Gupta.
Gupta however told the Indian Express that members of his NGO had nothing to do with the attackers who belonged to a “gau rakshak group”. PFA trustee Gauri Maulekhi said the organisation’s membership ran into lakhs. He added that his NGO does not issue stickers and that it could not be held responsible for what some of its members did.
The vehicle that was intercepted was transporting buffaloes from Haryana’s Pataudi to Ghazipur near Delhi for slaughter, the police said.
Two FIRs have been launched, one against the men transporting the buffaloes, the other against unknown persons for assaulting them.
According to the police the men transporting the buffaloes could not produce any papers but one of them, Ashu told the Indian Express that he had all the documents. “I have been working for the last six years, but this is the first time people have stopped and assaulted me”.
The men transporting the animals who are residents of Pataudi have been charged under section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming animal) and other provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act based on the PFA complaint. The other FIR has been filed against unknown persons for “causing hurt” and “wrongful restraint”.
The three arrested men were released on bail on Sunday evening.