New Delhi: A 35-year-old Muslim man was allegedly beaten up by a group of cow vigilantes in Mathura’s Raal village at around 8 pm Sunday over suspicion that he was carrying beef.
A purported video of the incident shows the victim, identified as 35-year-old Mohammad Aamir, being thrashed by a group of men with belts while his shirt had been ripped off. The man can be seen begging them to stop as he goes from one corner of a room to another.
Speaking to ThePrint, Mathura (City) Superintendent of Police Martand Prakash Singh said Aamir was discharged from the hospital Monday evening and has returned to his home in Hathras’ Sikandra Rao town.
“The victim wasn’t carrying beef in his vehicle. It was only bones of dead animals, not of cows. Aamir was taking them to a factory for processing. He had a licence,” the SP added.
An FIR was lodged Monday on the basis of a complaint filed by Aamir under IPC sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 427 (mischief causing loss or damage), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 307 (attempt to murder).
“The victim was stopped and interrogated by a group of men — local residents and ‘Gau Rakshaks’ while he was returning from Mathura’s Govardhan Sunday night. Upon receiving information, a team of police personnel went to the spot and rescued the man and admitted him to the hospital. An FIR has been lodged against ‘Gau Rakshaks’ and some local residents,” the SP said.
Four people — Bhola (26), Mangal (32), Bhola (20), and Naubat (35) — have been arrested in the case so far, police said. Singh also said, “Fourteen more have been identified and more arrests are likely to happen soon. Further investigation is on.”
The FIR, accessed by ThePrint, has 14 people named by the complainant, including Vikas Sharma and Balram Thakur, members of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). Sharma, police confirmed, is the convenor of the VHP’s Gau Raksha Vibhag. The four arrested till now, the SP said, are local residents.
The FIR notes that Aamir was on his way to Sikandra Rao when he was stopped by the group of men who started “abusing” and pelting stones at him as well as his vehicle.
“The atmosphere soon turned hostile. They threatened to kill me and forced me out of my vehicle and started thrashing me. The two men who were travelling with me ran away. They dismantled my vehicle and turned it over on the roadside. Police officers and some villagers saved me,” the FIR reads.