A BJP local leader in Karnataka who was transporting cows in a vehicle died after he was attacked allegedly by right wing Hindutva group called Hindu Jagrana Vedike. Praveen Poojary, 29, was traveling with a friend Akshay Devadiga when they were stopped and thrashed by men. Poojary died of his injuries in hospital four hours after the assault. Devadiga is in hospital after suffering serious injuries.
According to police Poojary was taking the cows to his village in Udupi district of Karnataka state, India. Udupi Superintendent of Police KT Balakrishna said that Poojary earned a living by hiring out his vehicle and was transporting the male calves for another man, Ramesh. “Since they were male calves, the attackers felt they were being taken for slaughter,” Balakrishna said. 17 people have been arrested for the murder according to the local police.
The attacks came despite the Union home ministry’s August 9 advisory to states to act against cow vigilantes.
The advisory was issued two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that 70-80% of cow vigilantes are anti-socials who try to hide their sins by pretending to be cow protectors.
Last month, four young Dalit men were stripped and tied to a car and thrashed in Una in Gujarat after wrongly being accused of cow slaughter, illegal in several states. The men were in fact skinning a dead cow, an exacting and poorly-paid job that lower castes are forced to perform.
In the past year more than a dozen people were killed and attacked by cow vigilantes in different parts of the country beginning with the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh and later, the killing of two Muslim men in Jharkhand’s Latehar
It’s the first time cow vigilantes killed its own man. BJP is the political wing of the right wing Hindutva ideological group, popularly known as Sangh Parivar.