Mangaluru: Muslim Men Attacked for Transporting Buffalo & Meat
In 2 separate incidents, Muslim men legally transporting buffalo & its meat, were waylaid and thrashed in Mangaluru.
A 57-year-old man, Abdul Rashid, was attacked by a group of men and his vehicle was vandalised when he was transporting buffalo meat from a slaughterhouse in Kudroli in Mangaluru to the Kankanady market in the city early morning on Sunday, 21 June.
Charges of criminal intimidation, wrongful restraint, rioting among others have been made against 5 youths for the attack on Rashid, who has been transporting meat in his auto for the last decade.
A week ago on 14 June, 34-year-old Mohammed Hanif, a cattle and poultry trader was attacked while taking 4 buffaloes for slaughter to Kudroli, as he has for many years. While Hanif claims that he was attacked by 10-15 men, the FIR has been registered against 6 unknown persons on ‘diluted’ charges, he said. The accused, believed to be from the Bajrang Dal, have been released on station bail.
“There were men with rods, swords and sticks and they started hitting me on the head and back. There were around 15 people. They tied me to my own tempo and were abusing me. Even though many people were standing around, nobody came because they had weapons.I was trying to run away when police came.”Md Hanif to The Quint
VHP regional secretary Sharan Pumpwell reportedly called Hanif an “inter-state cattle thief” and said “Bajrang Dal members intercepted the vehicle but were not involved in moral policing” at a press conference on 20 June.
Calling the certificate shown by Hanif fake, Pumpwell said that “some angry locals might have attacked Hanif”.
Despite being in possession of sale deeds and permits, police officer Narayana of the Uruwa police station booked a suo moto case against Hanif for theft, and various sections of the prevention of animal cruelty act. Hanif also wrote to the Mangaluru police commissioner on 17 June, claiming that his testimony has not been accurately recorded by the police. He is currently out on bail.
“Police Did not Take my Statement”: Hanif
According to the FIR, a number of unidentified men reportedly followed Hanif from behind and intercepted his vehicle.
“They asked where he is going with the animals, asked for the bills. They started hitting him in the face. He was also kicked as he fell on the ground. Another one took a stone and broke the windshield. They said “you transporting a lot of buffaloes no? We will see to it that you don’t do this work again,” one of the attackers reportedly told him. Also tried tying him to the vehicle,” the FIR states.
Charges against the attackers include the following sections of the IPC: 143 member of unlawful assembly, 147 punishment for rioting, 341 punishment for wrongful restraint, 323 punishment for voluntarily causing hurt, 504 intentional insult to provoke breach of peace, 506 criminal intimidation, 427 mischief causing damage up to Rs 50, 149 member of unlawful assembly guilty of committing act for common goal.
Hanif said that the cops did not mention key points that he mentioned verbally, and allegedly made him sign after preparing the FIR.
“I told them I won’t sign before reading. But I was also very tense so I signed,” he said.
The fact that over 10 men had attacked him, robbed him of Rs 7,500 in cash, were bearing weapons and damaged his vehicle badly, were left out of the FIR he claims.
Hanif’s lawyer Asif Balkady said that the damage to his vehicle would amount to nearly Rs 1 lakh.
CCTV footage from across the road shows a large number of men on the road around a vehicle, but not much can be made out due to low light.
“Fearful & Ashamed Because of Incident”
Balkady said that Hanif was afraid of going back to work and also ashamed by the incident.
“It has come in the newspapers that he was thrashed and treated like a thief. He is embarrassed even though he has been doing this business for many years now. He was able to escape with few injuries because the incident took place only 100 metres away from a police station,” he said.
‘Threw Fuel on the Meat, Toppled Vehicle
In a statement to the police, Rashid said that the incident had taken place as he was travelling from Kudroli kasaikane (or slaughterhouse) to the market.
“I go to the slaughterhouse daily. On 21 June, I went there in the morning, took certification, loaded the meat into the vehicle and was taking it to Zakhir Hussain’s shop in the market. On the way, 5 men in bikes and cars, stopped my vehicle and dragged me out. They started calling me names and hitting me. They asked me to throw the meat on the road, but I begged them not to.Finally, they damaged my vehicle and poured kerosene over the meat,” he said.
Hussain said that there as about 100 kg of buffalo meat in the vehicle.
“The police came quickly. I was informed and when I reached they were there. It happened around 6:15 am. Not all of meat was damaged because there was tarp on top but at least Rs 10,000 worth meat of was ruined, he said, adding that his shop was ancestral and was functioning for the last 60 years.
Mangaluru police commissioner was unavailable for comment. Police officer Narayana, the complainant in the suo moto case against Hanif, said he was “not allowed to comment on the case”.
(With inputs from Daijiworld.com)
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