AISA condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the heinous murder of Umar Mohammed by the ‘Gau Rakshak’ goons on 10 November near Pahadi Kaman in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. Cow vigilantes brutally killed Umar and then threw his body on the railway tracks to make it look like an ‘accident’. To top it all, in what has now seemingly become ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ in BJP-administered states, the government is busy criminalizing the victims and Muslims, rather than punishing murderers.
Standard Ploy to Deflect : In this case, instead tracking down the killers of Umar, the Rajasthan Police has filed an FIR under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, against the alleged “cow smugglers”! What is happening is simple: the State machinery, through invoking laws such as the Rajasthan Bovine Act, names the deceased Umar Mohammed, the victim of murderous violence, as the “accused”– while those who killed him become “unknown persons” in the FIR! This is a clear cut ploy by the state machinery to undermine the brutal killing of Umar by gau goons, criminalise the victims of violence, provide ‘justification’ for murderous mobs and deflect the entire investigation process against these communal killers. The real crime of spreading terror and murder is whitewashed, and a new completely fictitious crime is created by the State.
In the Vasundhara Raje-ruled Rajasthan, killing in the name of ‘cow protection’ has become a routine phenomenon. The entire state machinery is time and again being used to shamelessly defend murderers accused of lynching. In 2015, 60 year-old Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi was killed in Birloka village in Rajasthan’s Nagaur district, after social media was used to spread rumours accusing him of slaughtering 200 cows for a feast. In 2016, Meo Muslim families in villages in Alwar, Rajasthan were victims of mob attacks, following rumours that they were slaughtering cows. On that occasion, police did not arrest the assailants, but instead arrested several Muslim men. Once again in Alwar, this time in 2017, a dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, returning to Haryana after buying cows at the Jaipur cattle market, was lynched to death by a mob which accused him of smuggling cows for slaughter. Another dairy farmer and cattle trader Azmat suffered a spinal injury at the hands of the same mob. All accused in the Pehlu Khan lynching case are out on bail. The Rajasthan Police had brazenly closed its investigation against the six men whom Khan had named just before he died. Their names were removed from the case as an inquiry had found them not guilty! In this heinous murder of Umar also, the first FIR was filed against the imaginary “cow smugglers”, not against the killer gau rakshak goons.
We demand that all the perpetrators must be immediately booked and police officials found collaborating with these mobs must be sacked. We must also unitedly fight back the organized violence of ‘gau’ goons and the state impunity extended to such communal killers.