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Cow Vigilantes take away Muslim man at gunpoint - DOTO

Cow Vigilantes take away Muslim man at gunpoint

Around 6 AM on 23 April, Tahira (25), a resident of Sheikhpur village in Nuh’s Firozpur Jhirka tehsil was walking towards her house’s gher (courtyard) to milk a buffalo when she saw 7-8 men sprinting towards her with pistols in their hands. Scared, she dropped the empty steel can, ran towards her houses and bolted the rusty old gate. Tahira’s scream woke up her mother-in-law, Mobina (61). The men, hurling abuses, forced the two women to open the door to the house. “They searched the room and the kitchen and hurled abuses at my daughter and daughter-in-law. They then jumped over the wall at the end of our house. One of them fired 2-3 rounds,” said Mobina. At first, Mobina thought that the men were from the police. “I noticed later that they were wearing chappals and one of them had a big maala (religious necklace) around his neck. I have seen police before. This is not how they dress,” she said eyewitnesses spoke about seeing 20-25 men in plain-clothes brandishing pistols. They were allegedly traveling in four cars, one Scorpio and three Boleros. An investigation by The Quint revealed that the Scorpio is registered under the name of the Development Panchayat of Haryana. According to the villagers, there was no number plate on the other three cars. Mohammad Shokeen (38), a daily wage labourer whose house is located in the lane after Tahira’s, said, “When I heard the firing, I picked a lathi (stick) and ran outside. I saw 3-4 cars. Their engines were running and some 4-5 men dragged Sahib into one of the cars and sped off.” According to Shokeen, Sahib Hussain (26) had gone to the field that morning. When he saw the cow vigilantes, he ran, at which point they fired two shots in the air. Hussain fell to the ground and was roughed up and hit in the head with a pistol butt by the vigilantes. “They were here to create communal tensions in Mewat and instill fear in the hearts of people,” added Shokeen. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a 65-year-old gardener from the area said, “My elder son and I were tending to the plants when we saw them dragging Sahib. My son asked them not to beat him. They said they’d beat my son if he didn’t stay back. We couldn’t do anything to stop them. They were 20-25 men and had pistols. They took him away.” Mobina claimed that her sister, who lives near the spot where the four cars were parked, tried to stop the cow vigilantes from taking Hussain, but was allegedly hit with a pistol butt on her chest. Raqmuddin (25) runs a dairy business and had come to the village to pick up his delivery of milk. When he saw the cow vigilantes, he started filming the incident. “When they found out that I was filming the incident, one of the men seized my phone and smashed it twice against a big stone. I was afraid if I said anything, they would beat me up too.” Raqmuddin said. He also alleged that the men were chanting slogans of Jai Shri Ram. On the evening of 23 April, the Nuh Police booked Hussain under sections 13(1) and 13(3) of the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015 and arrested him for alleged cow smuggling. The Quint reached out to Satish Varsh, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, for Firozpur Jhirka. Speaking about the identity of the men abducting Hussain from Sheikhpur, he said, “They were not policemen.” DSP Varsh confirmed that Hussain has been sent to 14 days judicial custody. When inquired about the circumstances under which Hussain was arrested, DSP Varsh said, “We don’t know how this man was brought to the custody of police and to which police station.” He dropped the call when this reporter asked him about a government registered Scorpio being used to abduct Hussain. The Quint reached out to Varun Singla, Superintendent of Police for Nuh, over phone calls several times but received no response. Hussain’s family alleged that he was being falsely implicated by the police. Hussain’s brother, Irfan (38), who works in the dairy business, said, “My brother is paralysed from the right side of his body. He got electrocuted some years back. He earns his living by doing shuttering work. He is not a cow smuggler. They are lying.” Hussain’s wife, Tasleema (24), broke down while speaking to The Quint. “He has never done anything wrong. They don’t have anything to show for evidence. Who will take care of my children now that they have sent my husband to jail,” she asked. Hussain and Tasleema have three children between the ages of 4 and 7 years. “They cracked open my son’s head,” said Hussain’s father, Hoshiar Hussain (72). He refused to clarify his statement further. Mubarik Khan (29), an activist, alleged that the cow vigilantes took Sahib to an undisclosed location and only handed him to the police the next day. He further alleged that several Hindu youth from Nuh were involved in the incident, together with men who had come from Manesar and Badshahpur near Gurugram. “Srikant Pandit is unemployed and is trying to earn through this kidnapping business,” alleged Khan. Srikant Pandit, 24, is a resident of Maroda, a Muslim-dominated village, around six kilometres from Sheikhpur. In his complaint filed with the Superintendent of Police of Nuh, accessed by The Quint, Hoshiar Hussain said, “Srikant got down from the vehicle and had a katta (home-made pistol).” The complaint mentions the names of Pandit, Anil, Mannu, Monu and Sunny. The complaint further reads, “These people robbed us of gold and silver jewelry worth lakhs of rupees and also took cash of 45,000 rupees that was kept in the house.” Hoshiar Hussain said in the report that they recognized Srikant and others and later found out that he was a member of the Bajrang Dal. Villagers accuse police of being unfair. “Why has the police lodged the FIR against unidentified people even if we have named the attackers?” asks Aasik Hussain, Sahib’s cousin. Maktoob obtained a copy of the FIR and confirmed that charges have been framed against three to four unidentified people under section 285, 294, 323, 342, 506 of IPC.

Other Informations
Source of information News Report Place of incident Village
Location of incident Village Was cross FIR filed Yes :Based on FIR dated 23.04.22 Nuh Police booked Sahib Hussain under sections 13(1) and 13(3) of the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015
perpetrator Organizational Right Wing Hindutva Details of the FIR

charges have been framed against three to four unidentified people under section 285, 294, 323, 342, 506 of IPC.

Investigating agency Victim's lawyer
Role of police Charges filed against the vicitm :Villagers accuse police of being unfair. “Why has the police lodged the FIR against unidentified people even if we have named the attackers Current status Under investigation
Charges Filed Other details
judgement Reference other information
Civil society reports

User Pic
Main Information
Date of incident: April 23, 2022
Nature of Violence
  • Physical assault
  • Threat
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Causal factors
  • Cow Related Violence
  • No. of People Injured 1
    Name of the victim : Sahib Hussain
    Name of Perpetrator Srikant Pandit, Anil, Mannu, Monu and Sunny.
    State Haryana
    District/City Mewat
    Party In Power / Incidents BJP - Bharatiya Janata Party
    Media link