The rising cases of anti-cow slaughter vigilantism, which was hitherto being seen as a phenomenon impacting only the members of minority communities, seems to have transcended religious boundaries and even Hindu men are now being targeted on suspicion of cow slaughter. In Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain town, four persons allegedly beat up a man after accusing him of slaughtering a cow.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the victim, Appu Malviya, has expressed his innocence while four persons have been arrested. A video of the incident that was widely shared on social media shows the four men beating Malviya with belts and repeatedly kicking and slapping him. "Gai katwate ho (you get cows killed)," he is told repeatedly, as his assaulters rained blows on his back.
"It’s a shame that despite being a Hindu you are involved in cow slaughter," another man told him in the video.
The police have slapped several charges of criminal intimidation and causing hurt to another person against the arrested accused.
However, Ujjain superintendent of police Manohar Singh Varma told the publication that the dispute actually arose from a money-related tiff, and the attackers deliberately branded Malviya a "cow slaughterer" in order to mislead people and to get Malviya beaten up.
If the charges are indeed proven, this would be the first time a Hindu man is being targeted on suspicion of cow slaughter. In the past, Muslim and Dalit men have been at the receiving end of ire from the cow vigilantes. The waves of crimes being committed by the gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes) started with the Dadri lynching in September 2015, where 60-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was beaten to death in Uttar Pradesh.
Since then, as this report shows, there have been 13 more incidents, spreading across the country.
Updated Date: May 15, 2017 16:35 PM