After meeting the families of Muslim men Junaid and Nasir, suspected to have been kidnapped, killed, and set ablaze, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has alleged that cow vigilantes have political patronage of BJP government in Haryana and at the Centre.
On 18 February, Saturday, in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president demanded that the Rajasthan government immediately suspend the local cops and arrest the accused named in the FIR.
“The government should suspend the Gopalgarh cops as they did not act immediately. Had they acted then and there, these two lives could have been saved,” Owaisi told reporters.
He also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government in Haryana not to give the accused political support. He even asked Modi to express grief about the deaths.
“These perpetrators have political patronage, due to which they have created such a situation of lawlessness. They are getting out of hand and acting as the law. Somedays ago, this one guy — whose name has come up (Monu Manesar) — even showed a guy beating on his Facebook live,” Owaisi claimed.
Sir @narendramodi Junaid & Naseer where kidnapped & beaten and burned to death by so called Gau rakshaks,both where young have small children
Please a tweet to express your grief Wazir e Azam for these 2 stars of Meo Muslims. https://t.co/1jKLto0N4x
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) February 19, 2023
On 16 February, the charred bodies of Junaid (32) and Nasir (25) — residents of the Ghatmeeka village in Gopalgarh, Bharatpur district — were found in a burnt Bolero car in Loharu of Haryana’s Bhiwani district (around 160 kilometres away.)
As per reports, members of a Hindutva group — suspected to be the Bajrang Dal — accused the deceased men of cow-smuggling.
The two were missing for two days and were suspected to have been abducted.
Owaisi accuses BJP and Congress
Owaisi told reporters that such killings would continue until the BJP-led Union government and Haryana government abandoned their relationship with such “cow vigilantes”.
“These so-called gau rakshakhs (cow protectors) threaten and commit extortion. Who has given them the authority to do so? Either the Haryana government should follow the rule of law or declare lawlessness in the state,” Owiais said.
The AIMIM legislator added that the Haryana government had given a free hand to the accused. “Even the cops are in cahoots with these gangs,” Owaisi claimed.
He accused the Congress-led Rajasthan government of staying quiet. “The chief minister should send the cops to Haryana and arrest the culprits,” Owaisi demanded.
— AIMIM (@aimim_national) February 18, 2023
6 Bajrang Dal members named in FIR
The Bharatpur police have registered a case under IPC Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 365 (abduction), 367, and 368.
Six alleged Bajrang Dal members — Mohit Yadav alias Monu Manesar, Lokesh, Rinku Saini, and Srikant — have been booked for kidnapping and assaulting Junaid and Nasir.
South First accessed the FIR, which states: “Today (15 February) morning, around 5 am, cousins of the complainant, Junaid and Nasir, had gone in their Bolero car for some personal work. The complainant was drinking tea at around 9 am when a stranger, who was also having tea, said the two men going towards the forest of Gopalgarh around 6 am were badly beaten by 8-10 men (and their) condition was serious and they were kidnapped by their assaulters.”
The cops arrested Rinku Saini on 17 February. As per local reports, Bharatpur IG Srivastava told reporters that he confessed that the two deceased were picked up by cow vigilantes on suspicion of cow smuggling and were later handed over to the Haryana police.
Meanwhile, the family of the deceased men alleged that the Bajrang Dal members tried to hand over the duo to the Haryana police, but the latter refused because the duo’s condition was serious. So, they were taken to Loharu and burnt alive, they said.
Monu Manesar claims innocence
In a video clip on social media, Bajrang Dal member Monu Manesar is heard saying: “The allegations that are being raised against us are baseless. No team of the Bajrang Dal was at the spot where the incident took place. No member of the Bajrang Dal is involved in this. The incident, as we have seen on social media, is unfortunate. Strict action should be taken against the perpetrators and no one should be spared.”
As per reports, Mohit and others were named in another police complaint in Tauru in Haryana’s Nuh on 28 January after a 22-year-old man died in hospital.
He was allegedly caught by Manesar and his associates on the suspicion of cattle smuggling and later handed over to the police.
Manesar, who joined the Bajrang Dal as a district co-coordinator in 2011, describes himself as a “gau rakshak” and social activist.
मोनू मानेसर जी का संदेश बंजर दल का कोई भी व्यक्ति नहीं था, जो भी आरोप लगाएं जा रहे हैं वो निराधार है, आरोपियों के उपर हरियाणा पुलिस शक्त से शक्त कार्रवाई करें।#ISupportMonuManesar pic.twitter.com/WrXwcn9Fpx
— Saurabh Tiwari (शांडिल्य) (@subhamt356) February 17, 2023