"How can someone attack our family members when they have not made any mistake?” asked the son of one victim.

Two Dalit men auto driver tied to tree beaten for skinning dead cow in RajamundhryPTI/Image for representational purposes only
news Cow Vigilantism Tuesday, August 09, 2016 - 20:16

Just days after Prime Minister Modi’s statement against Gau Rakshaks, two Dalits of the Madiga caste from Janakipeta Colony in Amalapuram, Rajahmundry were assaulted for skinning a dead cow. An autorickshaw driver who was with the two men was also assaulted.

On Monday evening, at around 7.30pm, 57-year-old Mokati Yelisha and his brother Rajam were called to dispose of a cow that had died after being electrocuted.  They transported the cow in an autorickshaw to a graveyard to skin it before burying the carcass. However, they and the driver of the autorickshaw were attacked by a group of people allegedly belonging to the Kapu and Goud communities.

“Through the night the three of them were tied to tress and brutally beaten. When he learned of the incident my brother rushed to the spot and shifted the three of them to a nearby government hospital,” said 31-year-old Chanti Babu, Mokati Yelisha’s son.

He added, "It (skinning and burying dead cows) is my family's profession. We have been doing this since three generations. How can someone attack our family members when they have not made any mistake?”

He explained that people who couldn’t bury dead cows always depend on families like his to do the needful. In much the same way, his father and uncle had picked up a dead cow, when they were brutally attacked. “My father is being attacked just because we are Dalits. The government should take strict action against such Dalit atrocities as soon as possible,” said Chanti Babu.

DSP Ankayya Lanka of the Amalapuram police station told TNM, "Some people had mistaken the incident for cow slaughter, and attacked Mokati Yelisha and his brother. But they were innocent, so a case has been registered against the mob who attacked them. This case is no way related to cow slaughter and the victims are innocent".

A case has been registered against various persons under sections 341 and 324 of the IPC.

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