A family, including a 9-year-old girl, was attacked by a group of so-called gau rakshaks on Friday in Jammu and Kashmir while they were transporting their livestock from the state’s Raesi district to Talwara in Udhampur district. Although no arrests have been made yet, the police said they had identified five of the culprits and registered an FIR against them, CNN-News18 reported.
The cow vigilantes are believed to have used iron rods to beat the nomadic family. The victims said the attackers had robbed them off their flock, which included cow, goats and sheep. The 9-year-old, identified as Sammi, has been admitted to a hospital with multiple fractures, according to NDTV.
One of the victims, Naseem Begam, said they were beaten “ruthlessly”, and that one of their children, a 10-year-old, was still missing. “We don’t know whether he is alive or dead. They wanted to kill us and throw our bodies into the river,” she said.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police SP Vaid said, “I have asked the DIG of Udhampur range to visit the area. Strict action will be taken against these goons.” An officer of the Reasi police force said they were investigating the case, and the “culprits will be brought to book”.
The attack in Kashmir is the latest among a string of such cow protectionist incidents reported from across the country. On April 7, the Supreme Court directed the Rajasthan government to file a response to the lynching of a man in Alwar, wherein a diary farmer was beaten to death by gau rakshaks who thought he was smuggling cattle. The governments of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Gujarat were also asked to respond to the petition on the rising number of such incidents.