In connection with the “barbaric” killing of a Muslim trader in Jharkhand on June 29th for allegedly carrying beef, the Jharkhand police arrested Nityanand Mahato, the local BJP leader incharge of the media cell.
Early on Thursday morning,June 29th Alimuddin Ansari, had left his village, Manua in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district in a van. He was attacked in Ramgarh town by a mob of at least 10 people and his vehicle set on fire. As in earlier instances of cow vigilantism, the attackers took vidoes and photos of the violence and distributed it on social media. That speaks volumes about the impunity of these so-called cow vigilantes.
The main accused, Chottu Rana who was also caught on camera beating Ali and killing him has already surrendered in court.The BJP leader however denied any role in the killing and said he reached the spot later to find out what had happened and the police arrested him in haste.
Beef was a ‘bahaana’ to kill him
“Beef was just a ‘bahaana’ an excuse, that they used to kill him. They killed him because he was Muslim.”Ansari’s wife said. In the complaint, Ansari’s family has named 12 people who they say are members of a cow protection group and the Bajrang Dal, a part and parcel of the Sangh Parivar which includes the ruling BJP at the centre.
Cow violence in Jharkhand
Jharkhand has seen a spate of mob violence in the recent past. Alimuddin Ansari’s death came a day after more than a 100 people attacked a Muslim dairy farmer in the state on the rumour that he had slaughtered a cow. On June 18, Jharkhand Police arrested a school principal following allegations that she had eaten beef within the school’s premises. Seven people were beaten to death over rumours of child-lifting in May. Last year, two Muslim cattle traders, one as young as 15, were killed by a mob and hanged from a tree.