PUDR expresses outrage at the barbaric incident of 10th June where, in a horrific example of discrimination and violation of dignity, two men - Rizwan and Mukhtiar - accused of transporting beef from Mewat to Delhi, were forced to eat cow dung by members of the Gurgaon Gau Raksha Dal. A video has surfaced showing the two being threatened, and forced to eat panchgavya, a mixture of cow dung, cow urine and other bovine products. The members of the Dal by their own account, received information about the smuggling, chased the vehicle for seven kilometres forced the men to eat the concoction from a packet and then handed them over to the police. Injury marks and bruises visible on the faces of the accused indicate that they had been thrashed.
The police’s response in the matter has been biased in the extreme. The local police showed a zealous alacrity in taking the two accused into police custody immediately, even before the investigation into the nature of the meat was complete. On the other hand, they have denied knowledge of any such incident of the two being forced to eat dung, or any video, though it is available on You Tube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcA8c3XnKOs), and photographs have appeared in the press (India Today; Indian Express). Moroever, if any other information was needed to launch an investigation, Dharmendra Yadav, the president of the Gau Raksha Dal, has publicly boasted about his exploits, and the intention to “teach them a lesson” and “purify them” (Indian Express, 28 June) .
While the form of the assault may be different, the 10th June incident is only the latest in a series. Of seventy four incidents recorded by PUDR, from the beginning of this year till 10th June 2016, involving assaults and intimidation over cow slaughter and beef, this is at least the 14th such in Haryana alone. Gau Raksha Dals were involved in several of these, and the police registered FIRs or took note of the complaints in most. In a mockery of assisting in upholding law and order, the fig leaf of the anti-cow slaughter laws and allegations of smuggling and illegal transportation, are being used to legitimise such attacks by cow protection bodies, and obligingly seconded by local administrations and politicians. The increasing number of assaults, the impunity with which they are conducted – the recent incident being a blatant example – indicate a frighteningly organised and powerful right wing Hindu fascism, and worse, a government that sanctions such rampant violations of the constitution, fundamental freedoms of life, liberty, equality, and rule of law.
PUDR strongly demands:
1. Investigation into and action against the Gurgaon Gau Raksha Samiti.
2. Repeal of the anti-cow slaughter acts and beef bans.
Moushumi Basu, Deepika Tandon
Secretaries, PUDR (firstname.lastname@example.org)