Cow vigilantism

Take action against cow vigilantes or ‘face allegations of complicity’: Human Rights Watch to Centre

The NGO, in a report, accused senior BJP leaders of instigating ‘hate crimes’ in the guise of protecting the animal.

The Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged the Indian government to “prosecute self-appointed ‘cow protectors’” or “face allegations of complicity” for the brutal attacks against Muslims and Dalits over rumours that they traded or killed cows. In a report, the NGO has pointed out that instead of taking action against these vigilantes – “many linked to extremist Hindu groups affiliated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party” – the police have often filed complaints against the victims under laws banning cow slaughter.

Self-appointed ‘cow protectors’ driven by irresponsible populism are killing people and terrorising minority communities,” said HRW South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly. “The mild admonitions from BJP leaders when Muslims and Dalits are lynched over cows sends a message that the BJP supports this violence,” Ganguly said.

The “India: ‘Cow Protection’ Spurs Vigilante Violence” report accuses senior BJP leaders of instigating “hate crimes”. “Since the BJP came to power in May 2014, extremist Hindu groups supporting [Narendra] Modi and his party have led vigilante mob attacks across the country to enforce “nationalism,” it said. It added that authorities have “largely ignored the young men roaming streets and beating up Muslims and Dalits in the name of protecting cows”.

The study condemned the incidents of violence reported since May 2015, when a “violent vigilante campaign against beef consumption” began. It noted the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh (September 2015), the bodies of two cattle traders found hanging from a tree in Jhabbar, Jharkhand (March 2016) and the thrashing of four Dalit men in Una, Gujarat (July 2016).

The HRW report also noted the more recent raid on a Muslim hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan (March 2017), lynching of Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan’s Alwar (April 2017), the cow-vigilante attack on a nomadic family transporting livestock in Jammu and Kashmir (April 2017) and the assault of buffalo transporters in Delhi’s Kalkaji (April 2017). It also noted the crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh since the BJP appointed Adityanath chief minister.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.