A 35-year-old man associated with right-wing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s gau raksha or cow protection wing was shot dead by 10 people in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad district on Friday, PTI reported.
The incident took place in Hoshangabad’s Pipariya town when the man, named Ravi Vishwakarma, was returning from Hoshangabad with two other people in a car, Pipariya police station chief Satish Andhwan said.
“A group of ten people attacked Vishwakarma and two others in the car with sharp-edged weapons,” Andhwan was quoted as saying by PTI. “They then shot two rounds, one of which hit Vishwakarma in the chest, killing him on the spot. The other two also received injuries. The attackers fled.”
“We have registered a case against ten people and efforts are on to nab them,” Andhwan added. “He [Vishwakarma] was the district in charge of the VHP’s gau raksha wing.”
Hoshangabad Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh Gaur told The Indian Express that Vishwakarma had a dozen criminal cases against him, including murder and attempted murder. He added that the crime was motivated by a fight for control of the Pipariya mandi, where lakhs of tonnes of grains are sold every year.
The incident was filmed by onlookers. The video shows a group of men – their faces covered with cloth – surround the car in which Vishwakarma was travelling. They break the car’s windows with rods and force the people travelling with Vishwakarma to step out. Then, another person shoots into the car. They drag the man out and start hitting him with rods. A woman accompanying the man filming the video is heard urging him to leave the spot.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad alleged that Vishwakarma’s murder had been planned. “His [Vishwakarma’s] killing should be probed thoroughly,” Gopal Soni, a VHP functionary, told PTI.