The Bharatiya Janata Party worker who was thrashed by cow vigilantes in Nagpur on Wednesday was carrying beef, police claimed on Saturday, according to NDTV. The police had arrested four people for beating up Salim Ismail Sheikh, 34, a member of the BJP’s Katol unit.
However, they also sent the meat for forensic analysis. The results came back “positive” for beef, Superintendent of Police (Nagpur rural) Shailesh Balkawde told PTI.
The Nagpur rural president of the BJP, Rajiv Potdar, called for strong action against Sheikh. “He would be dismissed from the party. Stern action should be taken against him according to the law, but people must not take law in their own hands and resort to violence in such cases.”
A video of a mob beating Sheikh had gone viral on Thursday. The video showed Sheikh being dragged, kicked and assaulted by the group of men. Sheikh, who suffered injuries to his face and neck, is being treated at a hospital in Nagpur. BJP Nagpur rural unit chief, Rajiv Potdar, confirmed that Sheikh was a member of the party.
“Sheikh, 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 said.
The BJP tried to downplay the 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. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan said nobody takes the prime minister’s words seriously.
The accused are part of Achalpur MLA Bacchu Kadu’s Prahar Sangathan.