- Cases of genuine animal lovers being intimidated or attacked are on the rise
- Most public outrage is being directed at gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes) who have lynched and killed innocent cattle transporters
- However, Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) officers, tourists, genuine gau rakshaks and ordinary people have now been targeted
- READ: Undercover with the cow vigilantes: ‘Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal gau rakshaks’ turn common mobsters and offer beef cargo protection services
- See more news from India at www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome
PUBLISHED: 23:28 BST, 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 00:02 BST, 20 July 2017
With cow slaughter and the subsequent attacks on Muslims and Dalits high on the national agenda, ordinary tourists and genuine animal lovers have also come under attack and face regular death threats from the so-called ‘meat mafia’ in India.
Cases of genuine animal lovers being intimidated or attacked are very rarely reported these days as the outrage is primarily directed against gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes) who have lynched and killed innocent cattle transporters merely on the strength of a rumour.
However, although the lynchings of Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri and Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan’s Alwar are shameful, they are not the only victims.
AWBI officer Thimaraju was thrashed by illegal meat traders in June before policemen in Karnataka’s Hassan district
Cows are revered in the Hindu scriptures as the ‘mother’ of civilisation and many worshippers equate the slaughter of cows or eating beef as blasphemy
Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) officers, tourists, genuine gau rakshaks and ordinary people merely concerned when seeing the cruel treatment of animals, have all been targeted. However, so far law-enforcement agencies have provided little support.
On July 14, software engineer Ajay (name changed) and his friends were attacked while his wife was molested by a mob of armed ‘meat mafia’ goons on Friday evening.
Thrashed: Cases of genuine animal lovers being intimidated or attacked are on the rise
On July 14, software engineer Ajay (name changed) and his friends were attacked while his wife was molested by a mob of armed ‘meat mafia’ goons on Friday evening
‘It was about 4 pm when all four of us were on a sightseeing trip in Khedapoda village in Chandili in Odisha’s Rayadaga district when we saw some men armed with sticks and knives, thrashing cattle.
‘With the police not responding promptly, we tried to reason with the goons ourselves.
‘Little did we know that they would attack us with the same sticks and axes with which they were beating animals.
‘I was attacked while my wife was molested by these barbarians. They snatched and smashed my phone which had all the recordings. It is a miracle we are still alive,’ Ajay said.
Bollywood actress Shabana Azmi, right, joins other to protest against a spate of violent attacks across the country targeting the country’s Muslim minority, in Mumbai, India
While Ajay is undergoing medical treatment, no arrest has been made for the assault. And no cattle have been seized.
Superintendent Rahul did not accept India Today’s invitation to meet and speak. An FIR has been registered with the Bissam Cuttack police station in Odisha.
Armed and dangerous
On July 10, ‘meat mafia’ goons opened fire on police officials in Khol in Haryana’s Rewari district.
The so-called ‘mafia’ were carrying 16 animals, including cows, bulls and calves, which were all cruelly stuffed into a van.
Four out of these 16 animals were believed to already be dead. The criminals broke through a police checkpost in Rewari. When the cops chased them, they opened fire on the police.
In pain: AWBI officer Kavita Jain with injuries inflicted by the so-called ‘meat mafia’
A case has been booked under IPC 1860, Haryana Gau Samwardhan Act and the ARMS Act with the Khol police station, Rewari in Haryana.
On July 09, animal lovers Teertho and Niranjan were attacked with stones and beaten with sticks by ‘meat mafia’ goons for visiting and taking photographs at an animal fair in Kaalapatthar in Odisha’s Begunia.
Niranjan suffered head injuries while Teertho was severely attacked and his wallet, phone and passport stolen.
A case has been registered with the Beguniya police station in Khorda district in Odisha.
AWBI officers Joshine Anthony (pictured) and Kavita Jain and active volunteers of the Gau Gyan Foundation have been attacked several time
On June 24, AWBI officer Thimaraju was thrashed last month in the presence of police officials for bringing to light how an illegal slaughterhouse was running in Channarayapatna in Hassan district.
‘I visited the illegal slaughterhouse with police officials where we found hoards of calves locked inside a small room.
‘After getting the animals released while we were returning towards the PCR van, I heard a group of butchers chasing me.
‘Surprisingly, no police officer was around to protect me. I was hit on the head and thrashed in front of the Police PCR van. The police had conveniently vanished for those few minutes.’
A case was registered under charges of attempt to murder (226/2017) and cow slaughter (225/2017) under the Channarayapatna police station in Hassan district in Karnataka.
Attacks on women and activists
AWBI officers Joshine Anthony and Kavita Jain and active volunteers of the Gau Gyan Foundation have been attacked several times. On some occasions the activists claim that they were thrashed in front of police officials as they raised their concern over illegal activities.
They were pelted with stones by miscreants in Kanakpura market under Ramnagar District in Karnataka for informing the police about illegal cattle traders.
An FIR was filed with Kanakpura police station.
A statue of a cow is seen during a protest and fast by Indian Hindu devotees against the slaughter of a cow in the southern state of Kerala on June 1, 2017
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They were also attacked by alleged cattle smuggler Ali Madat on separate occasions.
Firstly, on spotting a vehicle stuffed with cattle being taken for slaughter, the women informed the police but police were late in reaching the spot. The women were attacked in the interim. An FIR was lodged with the Kunigal police station.
Secondly, outside JC Nagar police station limits in Bengaluru, Kavita Jain’s car was attacked by goons as she was informing the police about an illegal cattle smuggling taking place.
A case was lodged with the JC Nagar police station.