BHOPAL – Under the ruling of Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, the police arrested victims who were brutally thrashed by the cow vigilantes over suspicion of carrying beef in Seoni on 22 May. The police first arrested the victims of violence and two days after the incident happened, then it arrested the violence accused when the video was uploaded on social media.
According to the press note issued by the local police, the police arrested the victims Tausif Khan, Anjum Ansari and Dilip Malviya after it was informed about the suspicion of carrying beef. They were sent to judicial remand. It said that it had seized the beef from the victims.
According to Bhopal-based journalist Shams Ur Rehman Alavi, the incident of violence which happened on 22 May was first tried to be covered up. When the video of the incident was uploaded to social media, then only the police swung into action against the accused.
“On May 22, Dilip Malviya, Tausif Khan and Anjum Ansari, brutally beaten on suspicion of carrying beef by cow vigilantes led by Shubham Baghel, head of Shri Ram Sena in Seoni. This incident occurred in Seoni in MP. The video went viral on May 24 night. Even till late night and by next morning, many were denying that any such incident had occurred though the woman and two others had already been booked and arrested. Surprisingly, local journalists were quite adamant that nothing had happened. Video was an important piece of evidence and police statement says that efforts were made by them to get the video deleted. The trio was arrested over suspicion of ‘banned meat’ possession even before lab test report,” said Alvi who is trying to forge a national alliance against mob lynching and hate crimes.
He said that the police was informed of carrying beef by the cow vigilantes who has criminal records after having thrashed the victims.
“A goon with a previous criminal record who was externed from district limits earlier, informs and cops use stringent cow protection law against couple. How it happens that cow vigilantes can torture anyone & then get FIRs under stringent sections, always vigilantes’ claim accepted on face value without waiting for evidence. But when it comes to action on vigilantes, cops need video. And also get it removed from SM (social media),” said Alvi.
A video showing the goons descending on the youths with sticks has gone viral. In the video, the gau rakshaks held the youths to a tree one by one and beat them up mercilessly as the onlookers stood by.
In the video, posted on the social media by the main accused Shubham Baghel on Friday, the cow vigilantes with saffron gamchha (towels) around their necks are beating two persons with sticks.
“An alliance of citizens against lynching and hate crimes is necessary. A few persons who float any local-level outfit in a city get emboldened just because if 10 people go to police station, cops come under pressure. The peaceful, law-abiding citizens, are just a witness to this horror. This must be realized that these incidents occur because the vast majority of citizens are silent. Intervention can be at various levels. Many incidents aren’t reported timely, tracked, details are missing or narrative countered by local administration. We can at least, keep an eye, track, share details, then connect with local activists, raise the issue, talk to officials who aren’t even questioned by local media. The victims are not just Muslims, but Hindus too, and other communities as well,” added Alvi.