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Beef Ban Hysteria Raises Its Ugly Head Again: Two Men Lynched To Death In Jharkhand

By Countercurrents.org

18 March, 2016

The 'beef ban hysteria' whipped up by hindutva fundamentalists has claimed two more lives. Accroding to Times of India, two Muslim men herding eight buffaloes on their way to a local Friday market were bashed up and hanged to death from a tree by unknown assailants at Balumath forests in Latehar district, of Jharkhand state of India, in the wee hours on Friday. The buffaloes were freed by the men and locals claimed the assailants were Hindu radicals.

The TOI report further says,

The deceased Muhammad Majloom, 35, was a relative of Azad Khan alias Ibrahim who is around 15-years-old. The two had their hands tied together behind and their mouth was closed with a cloth. "The sight suggested that the two of them were subjected to extreme levels of brutality. It means that the assailants were moved by extreme hatred," a police officer said.

In Jhabbar village of Balumath the sight of the hanging men engaged in cattle trade, sparked protests by locals. The protests turned violent when police tried to take down the bodies. SDO Kamleshwar Narayan and six cops were injured when locals pelted stones at officials who arrived in the morning to manage the situation and ensure that it does not take communal turn.

Injuries to senior officials forced police to resort to firing and baton charge. "The policemen resorted to air firing, but it did not hurt anyone," Latehar SP Anoop Birthary said.

According to sources protesting locals claimed that the assailants targeted them because they were engaged in cattle trade. "Four months ago a group of men had tried to kill a cattle trader in Gomia village of Balumath. The man managed to escape," Latehar MLA Prakash Ram said.

Locals blocked Latehar-Chatra National Highway 99 for hours. They demanded immediate arrest of the assailants and refused to clear the blockade unless the criminals were arrested and hanged to death.

A large number of armed forces were deployed in the village to thwart possible villagers' attempts to create communal disturbance. "A meeting of the peace committee was held in the evening to develop a climate of calm in the area," DIG Saket Singh said. The police were asked to check rumor mongers and locals were appealed not to monger rumours.

The investigation into the murder has not progressed much. An FIR was lodged against unknown for murder and another FIR was lodged against unknown persons and a few known locals for hurting the SDO and other officials. "It is not yet known if business enmity or other motive was behind the murder," SP Birthary said.

Prior to this incident 5 people were killed by the beef ban hysteria. It all started with the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq. On 28 September, 2015 a mob lynched 50-year Mohammed Akhlaq, over the rumours of eating and storing beef. The Muslim man's killing on 28 September led to a massive outrage across the country.

In Himachal Pradesh a 28 year old truck driver Noman was lynched to death by a mob in the presence of police on October 16th, 2015 allegedly for smuggling cow.

18-year-old trucker Zahid Rasool Bhat S/o Ghulam Rasool Bhat of Batengoo in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, who had sustained 70 per cent burn injuries in petrol bomb attack by a violent mob in Udhampur district on October 9, succumbed to injuries in Safdarjang hospital in New Delhi on 18th October, 2015

Zahid along with another Kashmiri trucker and a policeman were injured when a violent mob had hurled petrol bomb towards their truck and assaulted them on October 9 evening after rumours had spread that three cows were slaughtered. The tests, however, have revealed that the cows had died of food poisoning and had no injuries.

On 11 December, 2015 an unidentified ‘cow protection vigilante’ team shot dead a migrant worker 25-year-old Khush Noor near Bhanukheri village in Karnal, Haryana.

In a similar incident an alleged cow smuggler Abid (27) was shot dead in an alleged encounter with Haryana police near Thanesar town on November 29, 2015. Another person Ashraf (28) also was injured in the incident.

An independent MLA Er Abdur Rashid was beaten up inside the Jammu & Kashmir assembly by BJP MLAs for organising a beef party to protest the imposition of beef ban in Jammu & Kashmir.

On 2nd November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) threatened to behead Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah if he “dared to eat beef”. Shivamogga district level leader of the BJP SN Channabasappa also said that he would “play with his (severed) head”. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said that he would eat beef if he wished, and that the BJP did not have the right to question him on it.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said in an interview that “Muslims can continue to live in this country, but they will have to give up eating beef” because “the cow is an article of faith here”.



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