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Government aiding cow vigilantes in Rajasthan

Government aiding cow vigilantes in Rajasthan

New Delhi: A fact-finding committee Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, has revealed that the Rajasthan government is trying to criminalise an entire community in Mewat, just like the British had branded certain tribes as criminal, and that the government is actively colluding with cow-vigilantes to communalise the atmosphere ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls.

In a report released on Monday, Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, a collective of various peasant organisations, made its findings public after visiting Bharatpur, Alwar, Rajsamund and Udaipur - all places that have witnessed murders in the name of cow vigilantism and rising communal tensions.

“In the British times, the government for its own vested interests used to brand certain tribes as criminal tribes. The present-day government is criminalising an entire community in Mewat,” Dr. Vijoo Krishnan, joint secretary of All India Kisan Sabha and a member of the committee, said. The committee noted that in areas which have seen no communal strife for centuries, communities were being injected with hate against one another.

The lynching of Pehlu Khan in Alwar and Ummar Khan in Bharatpur, Afrazul’s killing in Rajsamand and Zafar Khan’s murder for protesting against photography of women defecating in open all illustrate the recent picture in Rajasthan which has seen a series of murders of Muslims on one pretext or the other.

The fact-finding committee has accused the Rajasthan government of active collusion with the murderers in all cases to reap electoral benefits. The police have always tried to send a message, in line with Sangh parivar propaganda, that these were smugglers of cattle and deserved to be killed. In the case of the Pehlu Khan case, the police excluded from the list of accused the four persons mentioned by Pehlu Khan in his pre-death statement. The culprits acted confident that the government would not take any action against them, and even the Opposition party like Congress failed to make any effective intervention.

The committee discovered that of the 450 families in Pehlu Khan's village, 400 were Muslim, all of them had cows and their livelihood was cattle-rearing and selling milk. However, because of the new laws they are unable to conduct their business.

In the case of the brutal murder of Afrazul in broad daylight at Rajsamand, there have been an orchestrated attempt to create communal division led by Sangh parivar. In the village 30 % of whose population are Muslims, there has not been any communal tensions so far, and the recent events have been solely caused by Sangh parivar for political capitalization, commented KK Ragesh, CPI(M)'s Rajya Sabha MP and a member of the fact-finding mission. “We are convinced that this kind of hooliganism is aided by the government,” said Ragesh.

The committee which conducted a two-day visit to the areas, comprised Dr. Vijoo Krishnan, joint secretary of All India Kisan Sabha , P Krishna Prasad, Devendra Singh Chauhan, Direndra Dadowrya Bilal Khan, Mujahid Nafees, Adv Rajendar Singh, S Thirunavakkar, Manoj Kumar, Adv Surendra Nath, Adv Rashmita and Adv Subhash Chandran.

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