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Two ‘Gau Rakshaks’ Confess to Killing Umar Khan in Alwar: Report

Umar Khan & two others were transporting cattle when unidentified men opened fire at them. Khan died on the spot.

Updated
India
3 min read
Uncle of victim Umar Khan.
i

Two people were arrested on 13 November after the body of 35-year-old Umar Khan was found near railway tracks in Rajasthan's Alwar district on 11 November, with activists alleging that he was killed by self-proclaimed cow vigilantes.

Two accused – Ramveer Gujjar and Bhagwan Singh – have confessed to the assault as well as mutilating Umar’s body, reported Indian Express.

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Alwar Additional Superintendent of Police Mool Singh Rana told the daily that when the accused saw the empty pick-up passing through Govindgarh, they suspected it would return with cows.

“They planned to waylay it if it returned with cows. When it did, they first threw nails in its path, but the pick-up truck moved on for a few metres. The ‘gau rakshaks’ claimed that the people in the pick-up truck first fired at them, and so they returned fire,” Rana told IE.

Rana alleged that Umar and his associates, Tahir and Javed, were “habitual smugglers” and they were travelling in a “stolen” vehicle. The two will soon be apprehended, he added.

“Can’t Control All Situations”: Rajasthan Home Minister

On 13 November, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria stated that five cows were found in a vehicle.

Five cows were found in the vehicle, including a dead one. Later, a body was found which a family claimed belonged to its member. A case was filed and the body was sent for a postmortem and one suspect was arrested on Sunday. It can’t yet be said what is actually the case. We are sure the case will be solved soon and the culprit will be punished.

Kataria also stated that the state does not have enough manpower to “control every situation in all cities in time.”

Victim’s Kin Seek Justice

The body of Umar Khan, hailing from Ghatmika village in Bharatpur district, was recovered on a railway track near Ramgarh on 11 November. Umar’s uncle claimed that he was “not a cow smuggler” as had been alleged.

I don’t know who killed him, but he was not a cow smuggler. He had three cows of his own. We want justice for him. He was killed brutally.

The incident came months after the killing of Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer from Nuh district of Haryana.

In April 2017, 55-year-old Pehlu Khan was lynched by suspected cow vigilantes in Alwar while he was transporting cattle, triggering a nationwide outrage.

The head of Meo community panchayat, Sher Mohammad, said that even if Umar Khan was involved in cow smuggling, there are laws to deal with smugglers. "Who has given the cow vigilantes the right to take the law into own hands? Police should act against cow vigilantes," he said.

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Opposition Hits Out at Rajasthan Government

Congress blamed the state government for its "lawlessness", while the activists have demanded immediate arrest of the culprits and adequate compensation for the affected family members.

Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot said it was extremely worrying that lynching and mob violence were becoming a norm in the desert state.

AICC general secretary and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot called for a fair investigation in the case. People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) activists staged a protest in Jaipur.

AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi asked that Vasundhara Raje government must conduct an "impartial" inquiry into the killing.

What is required by the BJP-led Rajasthan government is that an impartial inquiry should be done immediately; and if these ‘Gaurakshaks’ are involved, it is high time the government take stern action against them.
Asaduddin Owaisi

Owaisi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statements on incidents involving cow vigilantes were not having the desired impact.

(With inputs from PTI)

(This is a developing story and will be updated.)

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