A Muslim dairy farmer from a village in Jharkhand’s Giridh district was beaten up and part of his house set on fire after a dead cow was found outside it on Tuesday afternoon, The Indian Express reported. Police said a villager had slit the throat of the cow, which had died of an illness, to create the impression that Usman had killed it, reported The Telegraph.
A group of approximately 100 men attacked the house of Usman Ansari at Beria Hatiatand village on Tuesday afternoon after some people spotted the carcass of the cow outside his house, the police said. The mob, which had swelled to nearly 1,000 in a span of 30 minutes, had beaten up Ansari and set fire to a part of his house by the time the police reached the spot.
The mob dispersed only after the police fired a number of shots in the air. One person, identified as Krishna Pandit, was shot in the leg. About 50 policemen were also reportedly injured in the stone-pelting, officials said.
“The police struggled for more than two hours to rescue Ansari and his family members,” said Jharkhand Police Spokesperson and ADG (Operations) RK Mullik. “When the police tried to take him to hospital, there was resistance from the crowd. There was heavy stone-pelting. We had to open fire in the air.”
A police official said the cow belonged to Ansari and had died of an illness. The unidentified mischief-maker slit the cow’s throat before Usman could dispose of the carcass, the official added.
Both Ansari and Pandit are in stable condition, police said, and have been shifted to a hospital in Dhanbad. More than 200 security personnel, including senior officers, have been deployed to the spot.
The incident comes just days after a 16-year-old boy was stabbed to death on board a Delhi-Mathura train. Junaid, the deceased, and his brothers were abused and attacked by a group of men in the train after an altercation, allegedly over seats, on June 22. Reports had earlier claimed the brothers were attacked because they were suspected to have been carrying beef.
A citizens’ protest is being at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar and other places across India on June 28 to demonstrate against the “targeted lynching” and assaults. Organisers have titled the event Not In My Name.
Cow-related violence in the state
On June 18, Jharkhand Police had arrested a school principal and her aide following allegations that she had hurt religious sentiments by consuming beef within the institute’s premises in Pakur district. An angry mob had lynched three Muslim cattle traders allegedly over child-lifting rumours in a Jharkhand village on May 18.