Women slapped, kicked for car­ry­ing ‘beef’ in MP Fad­navis uses Saa­mana to mend ties with Ud­dhav

IN PAR­LIA­MENT Oppn slams govt over in­creas­ing vi­o­lence by cow vig­i­lantes

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com A grab of the as­sault at Mand­saur rail­way sta­tion. Kunal Puro­hit kunal.puro­hit@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A mob slapped, punched and kicked two Mus­lim women on sus­pi­cion they were car­ry­ing beef in Mad­hya Pradesh, an in­ci­dent that spurred the Op­po­si­tion to at­tack the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)led gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre in Par­lia­ment over in­creas­ing vi­o­lence by cow vig­i­lantes.

A vet­eri­nary test later re­vealed the 30kg of meat seized from the women at Mand­saur rail­way sta­tion on Tues­day was buf­falo and not beef, state home min­is­ter Bhoopen­dra Singh said on Wed­nes­day.

Cows are revered by Hin­dus and slaugh­ter­ing them is il­le­gal in most states, in­clud­ing in MP. The state and many oth­ers also bar the sale and pos­ses­sion of beef.

The slaugh­ter of buf­falo and con­sump­tion of its meat are le­gal in MP, but sellers need a per­mit from the lo­cal civic body. Since the women didn’t have one, they were booked but later re­leased on bail.

On their com­plaint, the po­lice reg­is­tered a case of crim­i­nal as­sault and wrong­ful con­fine­ment against uniden­ti­fied per­sons.

The in­ci­dent came two weeks after four Dalit men were beaten up by gau rak­shaks (cow pro­tec­tion ac­tivists) in Gu­jarat, al­legedly for skin­ning a dead cow. It brought back mem­o­ries of the mob lynch­ing of Mo­ham­mad Ikhlaq over ru­mours of eat­ing beef in Ut­tar Pradesh’s Dadri dis­trict in De­cem­ber.

On Ud­dhav Thack­eray’s 56th birth­day, CM Deven­dra Fad­navis used the Shiv Sena’s mouth­piece Saa­mana — through which some of its fiercest at­tacks on the BJP have been launched — to sig­nal a fresh at­tempt to rec­on­cile with his ally, ad­dress­ing the Sena chief as an “el­der brother”. The irony was hard to miss. Just a day ago, the same pages saw Thack­eray make some of his strong­est state­ments in re­cent times, threat­en­ing to pull the plug on the Fad­navis gov­ern­ment.

On Wed­nes­day, the BJP and its top lead­ers seemed to have put the in­sults be­hind. While Fad­navis wrote a spe­cial piece for Thack­eray on his birth­day, pay­ing an ode to his “log­i­cal think­ing”, Shiv Sena chief Ud­dhav Thack­eray met sup­port­ers on his 56th birth­day on Wed­nes­day. PM Naren­dra Modi reached out on Twit­ter and so did Union home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh. Sources said even BJP min­is­ters in the state called Thack­eray and wished him.


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