Chief of the Punjab Gau Raksha Dal Satish Kumar was arrested on Sunday, nearly two weeks after he was booked in a case of assault. He was charged for abduction, wrongfully restraining a person, extortion, looting and sodomy, the police said, according to IANS. The Patiala Police registered an FIR against him earlier this month after a video posted on social media purportedly showed members of the group beating people up in the name of cow protection, Deccan Chronicle reported.
The victims had alleged that the gau rakshaks (cow protectors) had harassed and assaulted them, stolen their money and other belongings, and detained them illegally. Kumar was arrested from Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh after a raid was conducted, a police officer said.
The incident took place a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked state governments to take action against “fake” cow vigilantes. Kumar had criticised the prime minister, saying that his statement was “politically motivated”. The Gau Raksha Dal leader had said, “He is doing vote-bank politics to get the butchers’ vote.”
Earlier this month, Modi had said gau rakshaks indulged “in anti-social activities” and that “cow vigilantism is just a ruse to hide their misdeeds”. His remarks came weeks after a few self-proclaimed cow protectors flogged four Dalit men for skinning a dead cow in Guajrat’s Una city. The prime minister’s statement was criticised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, who said Modi could have “avoided” making the remarks.