On the afternoon of April 15, 50-year-old Jose Kalarickal from Kerala's Ernakulam district was slaughtering a cow along with his friends in preparation for Easter, the next day, when 14 BJP workers barged into his compound demanding that he not slaughter â€śgomatha."
Jose, a businessman, told The News Minute that the BJP workers warned them against slaughtering the cow that the Sangh Parivar worships.
"They rushed to the compound, warned us against slaughtering the cow and threw mud on the meat. They threatened me not to repeat it again and left," Jose said.
Jose is now concerned about being labelled a â€ścow slaughtererâ€ť although cow slaughtering is not illegal in the state of Kerala.
"It was a neighbour who gave us the cow as it was infertile. This neighbour was planning to sell it when I offered to take it. We did nothing illegal that day and I am not a cow slaughterer," Jose insisted.
According to Jose, the attackers were allegedly in an inebriated state, when they barged into his compound to shower abuses on him and the others.
A police complaint was filed the next day on the insistence of the panchayat officials. Protest marches led by CPI (M) and Congress was held on Monday.
Three days after the attack, the Ernakulam rural police is yet to nab the accused.
Confirming that the attackers belonged to the BJP, Sub-Inspector of Rural police station, Anil Kumar told TNM that a case has been registered against them under Section 447, 427 and 294 (B) of the IPC.
"We have identified all the accused, the complainant also knows them. However, they are at large following the incident," the SI said.
VN Sunil, CPI (M)'s local secretary said that the party strongly condemns the right wing party's attempt to "imitate the happenings in the North."
Jose, a native of Kasargod, had relocated to Karumallor in Paravoor ten years ago.