Several members of a Muslim family and their acquaintances were roughed up and one person was allegedly assaulted at their farmhouse outside Bengaluru by a mob on Wednesday over claims of “cow slaughter”.
Danish* (27), a family member said that the events occurred at the farmhouse of Nazeer Ahmed in Jigani on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Nazeer Ahmed is a former Bengaluru Development Authority official. The whole ordeal lasted several hours.
According to Danish, who was present at the farmhouse, the family had purchased two bulls from the Yarabnagar area of Bengaluru and transported it to the farmhouse to offer as kurbani on the occasion of Bakr-Eid. Every year, the family offered kurbani during the festival and shared the meat with relatives and acquaintances (both men and women) who arrived to collect it, he said.
Around 11.30 am the butcher they had hired slaughtered the two bulls, and was preparing to extract the meat at around 2.30 pm when a group of about five people turned up without permission and began to question them. Danish said that they tried to reason with them and tell them that they had the requisite permissions but the group did not listen to them. Someone called the police and one constable turned up.
“By this time, there was a large mob around outside the gate and they somehow managed to get the gates open. The lone cop could not do anything. Seeing the mob, about 20 women who were present locked themselves into a room of the house. The mob threatened to pour kerosene and burn the house down,” Danish said.
Again, Danish says, they tried to reason with the mob and told them that it was not cows that they had slaughtered. “We told them that they could check whether the animals had udders, but they didn’t care. They abused us in filthy language, insulted us and threatened to burn down the house.”
At some point, the mob caught hold of Fateh, the son of the farmhouse owner, who is studying in Australia and had come for the festival. He was to return on Saturday. “They caught Shabaz* and began to beat him. But fortunately, one of the men in the mob took him away, pretending that he would assault Shabaz even more badly, but instead, helped him escape,” Danish said.
Danish too was chased. “I had to hide behind a granite block a little away from the house until my brother came and picked me up.”
Danish says the mob continued to rampage and destroy property until, they took the family to the Bannerghatta police station. The mob brought even brought an earthmover and buried the carcass on the property.
“We didn’t do anything but we were taken inside the police station and those who broke into our house were outside. They waited there for several hours and told the police under which sections to book a case against us. We aren’t blaming the police because they too couldn’t do anything as they were under pressure,” Danish says.
Bannerghatta Sub-Inspector Murali said that the police had filed a suo moto case under of the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act but declined to say against whom and under which sections. The family has not yet decided on whether to lodge a complaint againsst the attackers.
The Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act 1964, allows the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes aged above 12 years as long as their meat is healthy, and the slaughter of animals that have become permanently incapacitated for breeding, draught or giving milk due to injury, deformity or any other cause.