Attacks on Dalits and Muslims by cow protectors : Rajya Sabha in turmoil
The irate MPs raised the issue especially after the reports of two Muslim women being thrashed in a Madhya Pradesh town for allegedly carrying beef they intended to sell.
The incident took place a little over two weeks after some Dalit youths in Gujarat's Una taluka+ were publicly bashed up and shamed allegedly by cow protection vigilantes+ , for skinning a dead cow.
Bahujan Samaj Party chiechief Mayawati, who was among the prominent leaders to take up the issue, vehemently criticised the centre, alleging that it remained inactive against the atrocities on Dalits and Muslims by alleged cow vigilantes.
"The BJP raises the 'Mahilaon ke samman mein, BJP maidan mein' slogan, yet in BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh women were thrashed on beef rumours," she said.
Echoing Mayawati, Congress members alleged that Dalits and Muslims are increasingly becoming targets of violence. "We agree that cows should be protected but we are against using cow protections as an excuse to target Dalits+ and Muslims," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Anand Sharma (Cong) asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not responded to attacks on dalits in name of ‘Gau Raksha’.
“He has done ‘chai-pe-charcha’ and ‘mann-ki-baat’ but why not on this issue,” he asked.
Asking them to calm down, Deputy Speaker PJ Kurien said he will ask the Government the Government to respond.
Speaking on the issue from the Treasury bench, minister of state for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Violence in any state is condemnable, we don't justify it, but the Madhya Pradesh government took action on the issue that Mayawatiji spoke about."
The latest incident occurred at Mandaur in Madhya Pradesh, as a mob led by cow vigilantes slapped, kicked and punched the women at a railway station allegedly in presence of police.
Reports said even after the police arrested the two Muslim women on the suspicion of carrying beef, a proscribed item to possess in the state, the mob continued to beat them up and the law keepers did little to protect them.
In a video, taken by one of the onlookers, the women were seen being cornered by a crowd that is heard screaming "Gau Mata Ki Jai (Hail holy cow)". They are slapped and punched by the women in the mob for about half an hour until one of them collapses.
Reports quoted police as having claimed that they had recovered 30 kg of meat from the women.
The consignment was examined by a local doctor who pronounced it buffalo meat, not beef, claim the police.
The women are, however, have still been charged, because they did not have a permit to sell meat and no action has reportedly been taken against those who thrashed them.
State home minister Bhupendra Singh said: "No can take law in their own hands. A probe will be conducted."