Skip to main content

Haryana cow lynching case: How police, "acting" under political pressure, wavered

Haryana vigilantes "keep a watch" on cow smuggling
Counterview Desk
A 25-year-old man from Jalalabad in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh, identified as Naushad, was reportedly brutally thrashed by cow vigilantes at Bhalout village of Haryana's Rohtak district on January 19 night on suspicion of cow smuggling. A vigilante on a scooter followed Naushad, who was transporting a buffalo and its two calves in a vehicle to UP, and forced him to stop.
When Naushad stepped out of the vehicle, the vigulante started beating him up and accused him of transporting cows illegally. Suspecting danger, two men who were accompanying Naushad in the vehicle fled from the spot. By then, a mob of villagers gathered at the spot and joined Jashpal. They stripped Naushad's shirt and sweater, tied him up to an electricity pole and started thrashing him brutally.
While Naushad was "saved" by cops, who rushed to the spot after being informed that a group of cow vigilantes were thrashing a youth on the suspicion of cow smuggling, and was taken to the police station, a delegation of the Janwadi Mahila Samiti, which approached the Sadar police station of Rohtak, Haryana, found that he was chained to a bed on suspicion of ‘cow smuggling’.
Khudai Khidmatgar -- an organization founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan during the heydays of the freedom movement, banned in Pakistan after Independence, but revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011 in Delhi -- sent a team of of its Central and Haryana on a fact finding mission to find out what had happened.

A report by the fact finding team:

For the last ten years 24-years-old Naushad has been working for a cattle trader and dairy owner Sunil in village Dhoki near Charkhi Dadri. On January 19, 2019 he and his co-workers (Mehboob and Iqbal) loaded a buffalo and three buffalo calves in a pickup. They were heading to sell them in animal fare held in Baghpat (Uttar Pradesh). On their way their vehicle was checked at two police check posts and they were handed over receipts for the same.
Around 8:00 pm, they approached village Bhalout of Rohtak district in Haryana, where they were stopped by heavily-drunk cow vigilante Jashpal Gumana who said that there are cows in the vehicle. Naushad replied that there aren’t any cows in the vehicle and if he wanted he can check himself.
Gumana refused to look inside the vehicle and started shouting “cow smugglers, cow smugglers!” to gather people. He forced Naushad to get down form the vehicle. Youth started gathering at the place with sticks. Meanwhile Naushad’s co-workers, Mehboob and Iqbal, ran away with the vehicle to save their lives.
Gumana snatched around Rs 2000 and motorbike keys from Naushad’s pocket. Thereafter, they stripped him and started thrashing him furiously. He was slapped, kicked and dragged on the road. They tied him to a pole and tortured victim for almost two hours. They burnt his skin and lips etc using beedi and thrashed him till he fell unconscious. Thereafter, they sprinkled water on his face and continued thrashing and abusing him mercilessly.
Naudhad in police station
Mehboob and Iqbal, who had run away with the vehicle, dialled No. 100 repeatedly till their call was answered. The person manning the police helpline gave them the telephone number of the nearby police station. They called that police station seeking help. Finally, police reached the village, untied Naushad from the pole while he was still being thrashed.
The police party took Naushad to the Sadar thana in Rohtak. He was in immense pain and was bleeding from his nose, ear, legs and back. He pleaded with police for the medical help but the policemen gave him only some tablet with tea. He was then handcuffed and made to sit on the cold floor with no medical help. Sunil, the dairy owner, rushed to the police station and offered him food and a kurta (shirt). The mob continued to threaten Naushad even inside the police station.
Next day, civil society groups read about the incident and decided to visit the police station without any delay. Rajkumari Dhaiya, district president of the All-India Progressive Women’s Association, Preet Singh, district president of the Kisan Sabha, Prakash from the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Kamlesh Ladli Vijendra Batyana and Adv Attar Singh Hudda, reached Sadar thana and took details of the incident.
When they met ASI Balkishan, they were shocked to see the severely injured Naushad handcuffed and chained to bed. They saw that while half-conscious Naushad was sitting on the cold floor, the main accused, Gumana, was sitting on a chair having tea with the policemen.
Civil society groups questioned police why the injured Naushad was made to spend the entire night on the cold floor while hand-cuffed as if he is a dangerous and wanted criminal or terrorist. “We handcuffed and chained him thinking he might run away,” claimed the policemen. However, the fact is that the victim could hardly walk at the time. Also, he was in immense pain.
The delegation asked policemen to take him for medical checkup and treatment. Naushad was taken to PHC in village Kiloi only in the evening of January 20 after persistent reminders by the civil society group. There too he was given only a tablet. Proper medical attention was not given and medical checkup was not done. Later, Naushad was asked to leave the police station at 9 pm with instructions to re-visit the police station with the dairy owner next morning.
The delegation also spoke to the accused Jaspal who narrated the entire incident in front of the police. He accepted that Naushad told him that there are only buffaloes inside the vehicle. He also accepted that he stripped and dragged the victim, slapped him, tied him to the pole after which the victim was thrashed. The delegation also enquired whether he saw cows in the vehicle which he denied.
“FIR will be filed against Jaspal as he is an accused and Naushad will be released as he is innocent,” said SHO Manjeet More when he was asked why there was no FIR against the accused when he is accepting everything in front of them. Initially, the complaint was written mentioning Jaspal’s name but it was torn after a call from someone.
Around 5:00 pm Bitto Pradhan visited the police station and took the accused with him, saying he will bring the accused back to the police station next morning. However, Jaspal did not reach the police station next morning when the civil society delegation visited it again. Though the accused was drunk, no medical checkup was done until the next day.
On January 21, Naushad, Sunil, Iqbal and Mehboob met the civil society group and said that their vehicle is still in police custody. They have provided all the proofs and documents but the police says they will file a case against all of them.
The delegation spoke to the SP and discussed the situation. Later they also visited the SP along with the victims. All injuries were shown to him. He assured that action will be taken against the culprits and also assured that the victims will get justice. After this an SIT was formed for the same.
Such incidents taking place just before the Lok Sabha elections are a matter of concern. It seems that initially police was under political pressure due to which they ignored the rule book. However, when the issue got highlighted the tried to act to save themselves.
On February 1 the civil society group visited the Rohtak police station again where they were told that ASI Balkishan is handling this case and he will be back in an hour. The group re-visited the police station but still there was no trace of ASI Balkishan.
When a group member called over the phone, he said he will be reaching within ten minutes. When he failed to show up, the group wanted to see the SHO, only to be told that he is not available. When the group called ASI Balkishan again, he asked his staff member to share information with the group.
We were informed that FIR No 38 has been filed against the victims for animal cruelty and for cow protection. When asked, how come charges for cow protection when there were no cows, we were told that these charges will be removed once presented.
FIR 39 is filed against the accused under Sections 341, 342,506, 325 and IPC 34. So far three accused, Jaspal Gumana, Rinku and Amarjeet aka Kaala have been arrested and set free on bail. We were told that investigation is still on and the remaining accused will be arrested as their names appear during investigation.
Sunil said that timely intervention by civil society was of great help when everything was moving in the wrong direction. He doubted that Naushad would have been saved without such intervention. Initially, police was not even talking to the civil society group in a proper way. However, once they met SP, an SIT was formed. Naushad and Mehboob spoke with us and narrated every bit of their ordeal with fear on their faces. They thanked all who stood by them and saved their lives.

Comments

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.