Al­war at­tack: two cow Vig­i­lantes held

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Nation - Deven­dra Bhard­waj htraj@hin­dus­tan­ ▪

AL­WAR: Four days af­ter the al­leged at­tack on three men trans­port­ing cat­tle in Al­war, the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer of the case has been changed, the po­lice said on Tues­day. The case, which was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the sta­tion house of­fi­cer, Govin­dgarh po­lice sta­tion, has now been handed over to Anil Beni­wal, as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice, Al­war (south).

“I have asked for all the files per­tain­ing to the case. We have se­cured a three-day po­lice cus­tody of the two ar­rested men,” Beni­wal told HT. The po­lice said that a search is on for other men.

Al­war po­lice had ar­rested two cow vig­i­lantes on Mon­day night in con­nec­tion with the at­tack in Al­war on three men. Po­lice said the trio was smug­gling cows in the wee hours of Fri­day when they were at­tacked. The at­tack re­sulted in the death of Umar Mohammed (42).

“We had taken one cow vig­i­lante Bhag­wan Singh Gur­jar into cus­tody on Sun­day, who named the five other as­sailants. We picked up an­other ac­cused, Ramveer Gur­jar, last night and ar­rested both,” said ad­di­tional su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice Mool Singh Rana.

Both the ac­cused hail from Marakpur vil­lage in Al­war’s Govin­dgarh, where the at­tack on the men took place.

The other four have been iden­ti­fied and po­lice teams have been sent in pur­suit of them, said Rana.

A badly dam­aged pickup van with cows was found in Govin­dgarh area on Fri­day morn­ing and the body of Umar Mohammed was found on the rail­way tracks in Ram­garh, some 15 kms away. Umar’s au­topsy is held up be­cause of ob­jec­tions from the fam­ily.

Un­til Sun­day, the po­lice had de­nied any con­nec­tion be­tween the two. But mak­ing a volte-face on Mon­day, Al­war SP Rahul Prakash said the two were linked and the at­tack was car­ried out ‘in con­nec­tion with cows’ by ‘anti-so­cial ele­ments’.

Umar’s pickup had two other pas­sen­gers – Tahir Khan and Javed Khan alias Jabba. Tahir said they were at­tacked while they were re­turn­ing to their vil­lage Ghat­mika in Bharatpur af­ter buy­ing cows from Dausa.

“A group of 6-7 men opened fire on us … I sus­tained in­juries on my shoul­der while Jabba (who was driv­ing the van) man­aged to escape,” said Tahir.

He added that while the men shot Umar dead, they hit him with the butt of a gun and left, as­sum­ing that he was dead too. Jabba reached Ghat­mika un­hurt on Fri­day evening.

Po­lice of­fi­cials said that Tahir Khan had pre­vi­ous cases of cow smug­gling reg­is­tered against him. “Khan has three cases of cow smug­gling reg­is­tered against him along with one case of out­rag­ing mod­esty of a woman and an­other in­ci­dent of as­sault. He is also wanted in one of the cases,” said Beni­wal.

He added that a case against Mohammed un­der the Ra­jasthan Bovine act is also reg­is­tered at the Govin­dgarh po­lice sta­tion.

Umar Mohammed’s killing is rem­i­nis­cent of the mur­der of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan who was way­laid and lynched by cow vig­i­lantes near Al­war on April 1. Khan had doc­u­ments to prove he wasn’t smug­gling cows.

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