A day after video of a mob beating up a man for allegedly carrying beef in Nagpur went viral, it was found that the victim was a Bharatiya Janata Party member, PTI reported. Four people have been arrested in connection with the case. The accused are part of Achalpur MLA Bacchu Kadu’s Prahar Sangathan.

Salim Ismail Sheikh is the head of BJP’s minority cell in Katol division in Maharashtra, The Hindu reported. The video showed Sheikh being dragged, kicked and assaulted by the group of men. Sheikh, who suffered injuries to his face and neck, was being treated at a hospital in Nagpur. BJP Nagpur rural unit chief, Rajiv Potdar, confirmed that Sheikh was a member of the party.

“Shah, a resident of Katol town in Nagpur district, was returning home from Amner village with 15 kg meat on his motorcycle when four persons accosted him, accused him of carrying beef and beat him up,” Jalakheda police station Inspector Vijaykumar Tiwari told The Indian Express.

Samples of the meat carried by Sheikh have been sent for forensic investigation.

Politics over the attack

The BJP played down the cow vigilante attack, calling it a stray incident. “We condemn this incident, but one cannot term it a failure of law and order machinery because this is a stray incident,” BJP spokesman Niranjan Shetty told PTI.

Maharastra Congress chief Ashok Chavan said nobody takes the prime minister’s words seriously, as incidents of cow vigilantism continued to happen despite Narendra Modi condemning them.

Meanwhile, Prahar Sanghathan chief Bacchu Kadu said the prime accused Moreshwar Tandulkar will not be removed from the party. He condemned the incident, but said the workers had to take law into their hands when “police do not do their job”.

“I know that the police are not implementing the law and are taking bribe to overlook violations,” he told The Indian Express.