Tailor lynched over cow, dead bull found

Know the difference: A black bull and a cow.
Picture: Shutterstock

Bhopal: A 45-year-old tailor was beaten to death in a Madhya Pradesh village on Friday on the suspicion of slaughtering a cow. Police said they found a slaughtered bull at the spot and sacks stashed with bulls' meat.

Attempts are being made to split hairs on livestock laws to pin part of the blame on Riaz Khan, the victim.

Sources highlighted that the slaughter of bulls - unlike that of cows - is not banned in the state. But police sources said that according to the rules, even animals allowed to be slaughtered could not be killed outside abattoirs.

The debate is irrelevant because no rule or law condones the lynching of alleged offenders. In Madhya Pradesh, cow slaughter can attract a maximum punishment of seven years in jail and a fine.

Rajesh Hingankar, superintendent of police of Satna district where the incident took place, said four suspects had been arrested for Riaz's murder - the first cattle-related lynching in the BJP-ruled state although there have been past instances of non-fatal cow-vigilantism.

The officer said the four suspects - Pawan Singh Gond, Vijay Singh Gond, Phool Singh Gond and Narayan Singh Gond - were all from Amgara, the village where Riaz, a tailor, lived.

Hingankar said the police found a slaughtered bull and the meat of two other bulls packed in sacks at the place where the father of three was lynched.

Police sources said the mob attacked Riaz and his driver Shakeel, 38, near Kaimor village, 28km from the temple town of Maihar.

They said Riaz and Shakeel, a taxi driver, had been spotted with cattle near a quarry and someone had informed the villagers of Kaimor.

A crowd gathered at the spot and started beating Riaz and Shakeel. By the time the police arrived, Riaz had died.

Shakeel, who suffered grievous injuries, is being treated at a hospital in Jabalpur. He has given a statement to the police and denied he or Riaz were slaughtering a cow.

Hingankar said that one of the accused, Pawan, had lodged a complaint accusing Riaz and Shakeel of slaughtering cows. Pawan has claimed that Riaz and Shakeel were injured while trying to escape.

Satna police have registered an FIR on the basis of Pawan's complaint.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh, who visited Satna on Sunday, did not enquire about Friday's lynching or meet Riaz's family.

Nor did chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who faces a tricky election in November.


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