[Haryana "Cow Vigilantes" in a NDTV file photo.]
Alwar: Two days after he was mercilessly beaten by "cow vigilantes" in Alwar district of Rajasthan, 55-year-old Pehlu Khan of Haryana succumbed to his injuries yesterday in a local hospital, police said Wednesday.
Pehlu Khan and his four associates were attacked by the self proclaimed cow protectors even after they reportedly produced documents to show they had bought the cows from a "Pashu Mela" or livestock fair in Jaipur.
While Pehlu Khan died two days after the assault, his companions are still in hospital.
The horrible incident, what is being termed as the repeat of Dadri where a Muslim man was beaten to death for allegedly eating beef, was video recorded and later widely shared on internet.
In the video the cow vigilantes are seen dragging the five out of their pick-up truck, and chasing and beating them up in the middle of Behror highway.
The self-appointed cow vigilantes appeared to have a free run; a police officer seemed to defend them and blame the victims.
"Police got information that some people are smuggling cows from Jaipur and are headed to Delhi. Behrod police caught some trucks and some trucks escaped, these trucks were forced stopped by public and the drivers were beaten by the public," said a senior police officer, Paras Jain, claiming that 10 people have been arrested for murder, according to NDTV.
One local police officer, Ramesh Chand Sinsinwar, has been quoted in reports as saying that the cow vigilantes are linked to rightwing hardliners and had stopped several vehicles on Saturday, "to check for cow smugglers".
According to the Rajasthan Bovine Animal Act, 1995, the export of cows for slaughter is prohibited and whosoever does so is considered a law breaker and abettor.
The Alwar killing took place amid rampant crackdown on slaughterhouses by Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh and days after Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh reportedly vowed "those guilty of cow slaughter will be hanged."
Interestingly, the BJP ever since it came to power in New Delhi and other states is imposing bans on cow slaughter, it is taking a totally opposite stand on the matter in Goa, Kerala and Northeastern Indian states.
Last week, a senior BJP leader said that a ban on beef is not in BJP's agenda in Northeast, another party leader said that the BJP will make sure smooth availability of beef it comes to power in Kerala.
Questioning the double standard of the BJP on the issue, its ally Shiv Sena asked how can the party ban cow slaughter in one state and allow in another.