Villagers in Rajasthan are rallying in support of a Muslim family whose cattle was snatched by an extremist Hindu mob earlier this month, India Today reported on Sunday.
On Oct 3, a mob of Hindu extremists, accompanied by the police, snatched 51 cows from Subba Mev’s family, residents of Kishangarh Baas town in Rajasthan’s Alwar city, read the India Today article. The cattle were then donated to a cowshed, the daily added.
“We rear cows […] are in business of milk production. They had come along with police and took away our cows,” the daily quoted Mev as saying.
According to India Today, the Muslim family blamed the accused right-wing mob of trying to portray them as cow smugglers to legitimise their browbeating.
Following the incident, villagers in the area wrote to the sub-divisional magistrate clarifying that Mev is a farmer, who has been grossly wronged in name of cow vigilantism.
The incident comes weeks after India’s top court proposed measures to stop what it called “growing violence by vigilantes” who claim to be protecting cows, revered as holy by Hindus.
Among the measures proposed is the appointment by state governments of senior police officers tasked specifically with curbing attacks targetting the Muslim minority.
Over the past several months, India has witnessed a spate of horrific lynchings by Hindu extremists targeting the country’s Muslim minority, who have historically eaten beef. Incidents of Muslims being attacked and killed by violent mobs on suspicion of cow theft and slaughter have been reported with frequency.
Critics say that extremists emboldened by the current Hindu nationalist government’s tough stance on cow slaughter are using beef as a pretext to target the community.