इंडियन आवाज़     03 Dec 2023 12:10:37      انڈین آواز

Cow activists arrested for killing 2 Muslim cattle traders in Jharkhand


Five suspects, including a members of a local cow protection vigilante group, have been arrested for allegedly hanging to death two Muslim cattle herders in Latehar in Jharkhand.

ranchi cowThe five accused hailed from Jhabar village under the Balumath police station area – around 100 kilometres from Ranchi. The village is close to the place where the bodies were found hanging .

Mazlum Ansari, 32, and Imteyaz Khan, 13, were heading to an animal fair with a herd of cattle when they were allegedly lynched and hanged from a tree by a mob in Balumath on Friday.

The incident reminisent of the mob-lynching of Mohammad Ikhlaq in Uttar Pradesh last year over rumours he slaughtered a calf. The murder sparked off a nationwide debate over freedom of choice and religious intolerance since the BJP’s rise to power in 2014.

One of the accused, Mithilesh Prasad Sahu, is linked to the Gou Kranti Manch, a group that works for preserving cow population and is opposed to their slaughter, police said.

They said all the suspects had confessed to killing the herders to snatch the cattle-heads and sell them elsewhere.

“Five of the eight persons involved in the twin murders have been arrested. Three others are absconding,” said Latehar police chief Anoop Birtharay.
“We are also (investigating) if they were trying to force the cattle traders to cough up money as they had threatened them earlier also.”

Police dismissed reports of fresh tension in Balumath, which had seen clashes between Hindus and Muslims over eating beef three months ago, but still banned large gatherings in the area until further notice.

“Barring one, the arrested persons had no past criminal records. They were engaged in petty business or farming in the village,” Birtharay said.

Meanwhile Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das has directed the state administration to ensure that incidents like the Latehar lynchings, where two Muslim cattle traders were killed and hanged from a tree, were not repeated.

“The police have arrested some people in this regard. The police are working to contain the situation. I have directed the administration to ensure that such incidents don’t recur,” CM said.

The bodies of two cattle traders, one of whom is a teenager, were found hanging from a tree in Jhabbar village in Jharkhand’s Latehar district on Friday.

While police arrested five people in connection with the case on Saturday, three others are still absconding. Sources said the hands of the two cattle traders were tied and their bodies bore injury marks, indicating they were hanged after being beaten to death.

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