Mewat (Haryana): In what is being described as yet another case of cow vigilantism leading to the loss of life, merely 100 kilometres from the national capital, two Muslim men from the Rajasthan-Haryana border were allegedly attacked and abducted by a mob that later set them ablaze, alive while they were inside their car.
This is said to have happened after accusations of cow smuggling were made against the victims. The dead have been identified as Junaid and Nasir, both residents of Ghatmeeka village in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district.
A first information report (FIR) under the following sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against the accused Lokesh, Rinku Saini, Srikant, and Monu Manesar under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 365 (abduction), 367 (kidnapping or abducting in order to subject a person to grievous hurt, slavery) and 368 (wrongful Confinement).
The Wire accessed a copy of the FIR and spoke to the family of Junaid. Junaid’s cousin, Ismail, told that when his family could not trace Junaid for several hours, they complained to the local police after learning that Bajrang Dal members had abducted the two men.
Later, say Junaid’s relatives, the members of the Bajrang Dal took the duo to the Firozpur Jhirka police in Haryana. But they (Junaid and Nasir) were not taken into custody by the police since they were grievously injured due to the assault, the family has alleged.
Junaid (left) and Nasir (right). Photos: By special arrangement.
Junaid’s family maintains that the bodies had been badly charred due to the burning and could be only identified because of the car’s license number. Junaid is survived by a family of 12, including his wife and daughter and the family of his mentally ill older brother. A local reporter told The Wire that the family is yet to receive the bodies of the deceased that have been sent for post-mortem now.
In a tweet, the Bharatpur Police said that an investigation into the incident was ongoing and an FIR has been lodged against the accused at the Gopalgarh police station. Police Station Officer, Gopalgarh, has been instructed to take “immediate action” in the matter. The police are waiting for the postmortem report to ascertain the cause of death.
Speaking to the media, DSP Jagat Singh Loharu said that it’s not clear if they have been set ablaze or if it is an accident.
The death of Waris
A few days back, a Muslim man named Waris had died in the same area. According to Waris’ family, he was lynched by Bajrang Dal members led by Monu Manesar. Manesar has denied the charge. Police officials told the media that Waris died in a road accident. Before his death, a seemingly injured Waris who could still speak was featured in a Facebook video (now deleted) posted by Bajrang Dal leader Monu Manesar, who is also named as an accused in the burning of Junaid and Nasir.
Also read: How Violent Cow Vigilantism Made Monu Manesar an Icon
In a Facebook post uploaded a few hours ago, Monu Manesar has denied the fresh charges against him. He wrote, “Neither my team nor Bajrang Dal Haryana unit has got anything to do with the incident that happened in Gopalgarh police station in Rajasthan.”
Who is Monu Manesar?
An investigation by Alt News’ Shinjinee Majumdar found that Monu and his team have uploaded several violent videos on social media in the past with little attention from law enforcement authorities. Alarmingly, Manesar enjoys a massive following on social media and has over 2 lakh followers on YouTube and 83,000 followers on his Facebook page where he often uploads content in violation of Meta and Youtube’s safety guidelines. In many photos uploaded on his social media, his team can be spotted grabbing injured men by their hair who he claims are cow smugglers.