New Delhi: A vehicle of cow vigilantes who were chasing a truck they claim was smuggling cows allegedly ran over a minor boy, killing him, in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.
The 17-year-old victim’s family members have brought the allegation against the self-styled gau rakshaks, Indian Express has reported.
The incident occurred on Sunday, September 12, in the Chupanki police station area in Bhiwadi near the Rajasthan-Haryana border. This is not the first time that the district of Alwar has been in the news over brutal acts of cow vigilantism. In 2018, Rakbar Khan was brutally attacked and killed by cow vigilantes while transporting milch cows on foot to his home in Haryana’s Kolgaon from a village in the district. In 2017, Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer, was killed by cow vigilantes in Alwar.
Police has identified the teenaged victim as Sabir Khan. Express has reported that he studied in Class 11.
A case of murder was registered against seven persons on the basis of the complaint filed by Khan’s family, police said, adding three of them have been arrested.
“Sonu, Harkesh and Narendra have been arrested while four others are absconding. The matter is being investigated further,” PTI quoted the Chupanki Station House Officer (SHO) Mukesh Kumar Verma as having said. The accused are all residents of Haryana and have been charged under sections 302 (murder), 143 (unlawful assembly) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Express has reported that the FIR registered after Sabir’s family lodged a complaint had it that Sabir was a regular morning runner who had had an argument with one Anil over the latter’s reckless driving.
The FIR says that Anil had threatened Sabir during the argument, saying that if he saw Sabir running on the road again, he would run him down with this car and he would not be able to do anything to him because of his claimed closeness with the Gau Raksha Dal and Bajrang Dal.
A friend of Sabir’s, an eye-witness, also told the paper that after Anil hit Sabir with his car in the course of chasing the truck of bovines, another car driven by Anil’s associates drove over him. Anil then allegedly reminded Sabir’s friends of his promise.
Khan’s body was handed over to his family after a postmortem.
Bhiwadi Circle officer Hari Ram Kumawat said a truck, which was allegedly carrying 15 cows, rammed into a tree and stopped in Tauru area of Nuh district of Haryana. Haryana Police, Kumawat said, was already probing the claim of the cows having been smuggled.
Kumawat told Indian Express that Sabir was hit by two vehicles, one belonging to the alleged smugglers and the other to the cow vigilantes. However, this version has been firmly contested by Sabir’s family, who, as mentioned earlier, say both vehicles that hit him belonged to the cow vigilantes.
Sabir’s family and friends have accused police of diverting the issue in an effort to protect the cow vigilantes.
(With PTI inputs)